Payment Methods in America Shifting Dramatically

Payment Methods in America Shifting Dramatically

May 18, 2016         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Despite a number of new payment options on the market, Americans still choose cash and credit cards above other alternatives, according to a new study from Blackhawk Network titled “How America Pays.”

But digital products like PayPal are quickly emerging, indicating some seismic shifts in the payment industry.

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87% of survey respondents reported using cash for purchases, a significant decrease from 93% a year ago. 69% of consumers use credit cards, up from 68% last year. Interestingly, PayPal is barely trailing behind credit cards, with 67% of participants using the digital payment processor within the last 12 months. This is the most popular digital option on Blackhawk Network’s survey.

As other payments begin to emerge, check usage is notably declining. Only 60% of participants report using a check within the last year, down from 68% last year. Mobile wallet usage was at 17%, up from 8% last year. 80% of consumers who use mobile wallets said they are using them as often or more often than they did last year. 73% said the same about peer-to-peer payment services.

In regards to gift card usage, 74% of consumers said they hope to receive a gift card this year, and 84% said they plan to purchase at least the same number of gift cards this year as last year. 45% of consumers said they prefer receiving shopping rewards on prepaid cards and gift cards, compared to 38% who chose PayPal and only 14% who chose checks.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of May 18, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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