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Debit cards, cash dominate the holiday payment landscape

December 22, 2012

It seems that Americans are savings-conscious this year, with more than three-quarters of holiday shoppers using cash or debit cards for gifts, according to a December 2012 Capital One survey.

It seems that Americans are savings-conscious this year, with more than three-quarters of holiday shoppers using cash or debit cards for gifts, according to a December 2012 Capital One survey. This suggests that consumers are concerned about the debt that shows up on their January credit card statements, often from impulse buys. With new merchant services technology like mobile payment making headlines this year, it seems like many shoppers are holding onto holiday traditions like cash and debit transactions.

The Capital One survey also revealed that 63 percent of respondents planned to increase savings in the new year, which might suggest that consumer spending will not rise dramatically. Further, this combined data might suggest that individuals are setting strict budgets this year, which for some is easier to manage using debit or cash.

Shoppers who do turn to credit are likely to take advantage of card rewards such as cash back or a prepaid reward card. Retailers who offer shoppers something in return for sales, such as a merchandise credit good in the new year or free access to the store’s app might entice shoppers to spend more. Although 2012 has been lauded as the year of technology when it comes to the payment industry, it’s clear that this holiday season shows a divide for the future moving fast while many consumers are sticking to more familiar payment methods.

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