More than 67 million Americans have used a credit or debit card for a purchase of less than $5 in the past 30 days, according to research conducted by Ipsos Insight and micropayments outfit Peppercoin.
The study, which entailed telephone interviews with 1000 US adults, indicates a readiness by consumers to forego cash and use their plastic cards to pay for low-value items.
It found that consumers are most likely to use credit or debit cards for small payments purchases at convenience stores, quick service restaurants, to buy coffee or pay for the subway or tolls.
All of these locations have been targetted by banks and card companies for the roll-out of new contactless payment programmes, where economy of effort is the key to user uptake.
Matt Kleinschmit, vice president at Ipsos Insight, comments: "The data shows that credit and debit cards are becoming a preferred payment method for a variety of small payments purchases in the physical world."
The most common locations for cash transactions were for the purchase of coffee, fast food and at vending machines and kiosks.