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As Cash Fades, America Becomes A Plastic Nation

Contributed by mm | July 26, 2004 3:05 PM PST

WSJ reported that for the first time in history, plastic has replaced cash and check as the method of payment.

According to the cited American Bankers Association, the 2003 usage of different payment methods in in-store transactions are:null

Debit Card: 31% (up from 21% in 1999)
Credit Card: 21% (22% in 1999)
Check: 15% (down from 18% in 1999)
Cash: 32% (down from 39% in 1999)
Other: 2%

I use credit cards for most of my transaction and only use check or cash when credit card is not an option (like mortgage payments, daycare expenses, etc.) Most recently I see the nearby McDonald's is starting to take credit cards too, and this will move more of my cash transactions to the credit card column. To be, credit card is a source of convenience and some extra money (I'm talking about cash back). I just cannot understand why there will be more people favoring debit cards over credit cards.

This Post Has Received 3 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


Chris Commented on July 28, 2004

I think a checking card trumps both a credit card and a debit card. You get the protections of a credit card and yet it works like a debit card with the posting delays of a credit card and uses the VISA network.

I don't like to use a credit card because if you are late by just a day you get whacked with a big late fee. Also, I think the "pay as you go" discipline is worth building - especially with all the marketing forces in our culture pushing immediate gratification. When I watch my checking account $$ shrinking over the course of the month, I have a natural tendency to think twice before buying.


mm Commented on July 28, 2004

Checking card (or check card, bank card), is just another name for debit card. Yes, some banks will offer some fraud protection and limit consumer's liability but this is not mandated by law.

I cannot deny that pay-as-you-go will help people to manage budget, but if you are like me, who track every purchase in personal finance software, it is not a problem. The additional rewards and protection from credit card are good things to have too.


Mossi N lvus Commented on June 16, 2017


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