Debit Card Use Remains Robust in Midst of
2010 Debit Issuer Study, Commissioned by PULSE, Finds Consumers Increasingly Prefer Debit Over Cash
June 14, 2010 09:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time
HOUSTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The 2010 Debit Issuer Study, commissioned by PULSE, reveals
that the debit market remained robust during the second year of the economic downturn and is projected to grow
strongly in 2010. The study finds that much of the growth in debit use is in small-ticket transactions, suggesting that
more consumers prefer debit over cash.
Issuers surveyed experienced overall debit transaction growth of 10 percent between 2008 and 2009. Much of this
growth was with small-ticket transactions. In 2009, 58 percent of all debit transactions were less than $20.
“The debit market has continued to weather the economic storm as a result of consumer preference for debit and
increasing merchant acceptance of small-ticket debit transactions,” said Cindy Ballard, PULSE executive vice
president. “As consumers scaled back spending during the recession, they embraced a pay-as-you-go approach and
are keeping their debit card top of wallet.”
Furthermore, the study found that year-over-year PIN debit transaction growth outpaced that of signature debit
transactions. Between 2008 and 2009, the use of PIN debit grew by 13 percent with an average ticket size of $41;
signature debit transactions increased by nine percent with an average ticket of $35. Both figures for average ticket
have declined by roughly $1 to $2 compared to the previous study. In addition, active debit cardholders, those who
conducted at least one PIN or signature POS transaction within the last 30 days, performed on average 17.3 POS
transactions per month, also flat compared to 2009.
The 2010 Debit Issuer Study found that debit card penetration – the percentage of eligible accounts that can be
accessed by a debit card – has remained steady at 73 percent since 2007. Sixty-four percent of consumer debit