US consumers use ATM cards for purchases rather than withdrawing cash

US consumers use ATM cards for purchases rather than withdrawing cash

US consumers are using ATM and debit cards for purchases more than twice as often as they use them to withdraw money at cash points, according to research commissioned by electronic funds transfer network Pulse.

According to a survey of 1000 consumers, conducted by Analtica during November and December 2002, ATM and debit cards were used an average of 10.92 times during a three week period.

Of those total transactions, 7.81 times were to make a purchase at a retail location compared to 3.11 times to withdraw cash at an ATM.

In addition, of the 7.81 POS transactions recorded, 4.06 were PIN-based and 3.75 were signature-based.

Stan Paur, Pulse president and CEO, comments: "It is clear that the ease and convenience of using debit cards is prompting consumers to migrate to POS with increasing momentum."

He adds that as consumers increasingly use debit cards to make purchases, they are taking advantage of the opportunity to get cash back at no charge.

The study also showed 61% of debit card users are not affected by signs on display at the POS. More than half said they assume their own card will work at a POS that accepts ATM and debit cards and an additional 10% said they would try to use their card even if the network symbols displayed didn't match those on their card.

"ATM and debit cards are more and more becoming tomorrow's cash and cheques," says Paur.

Pulse says its network alone recorded almost 4 million ATM and POS transactions on Christmas Eve of last year and 88 million for December 2002, both all-time records.

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