Consumers' use of cash in the US is declining as they continue to embrace a range of card-based payment options, according to a study conducted by BAI Research and Hitachi Consulting.
Traditional card-based payment methods already have whittled away the base of cheque transactions in the US, and are now impacting consumers' use of cash, says the BAI, with 41% of the 3308 consumers surveyed indicating they use cash less often today than they did two years ago.
"More and more consumers are substituting card-based payments in place of cash," says Ajay Nagarkatte, managing director of BAI Research. "Of those who have reduced their cash use, 97% are shifting to credit, debit, or gift/prepaid cards instead."
Consumers surveyed carry an average of four credit cards in their wallets. However, only 2.2 of those cards are used to make purchases in any given month, with reward programmes a key factor driving use.
Debit cards have also grown in popularity, with signature and PIN debit now accounting for a combined three percent of consumers' in-store payments.
Growth of gift/prepaid cards was not as robust, accounting for only four percent of in-store purchases, the same as in 2005.