Credit Cards, Online Bill Pay Increase Shares of Payments

Credit cards and online bill pay increased their shares of all payments, according to results from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s 2014 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice released today. Credit card use and online banking bill payments both grew by 0.7 percent to 23.3 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively; meanwhile, the share of paper checks fell by 0.8 percent to 7.6 percent, continuing the instrument’s downward trend over the seven years the survey has been conducted.

Debit cards, cash and credit cards remain the three most popular payment methods, and more than half of consumer payments were made with a card — 30.8 percent with a debit card — while cash accounted for 25.6 percent of payments. The survey showed that the average consumer made 66.1 payments per month, holding to a consistent trend over the past seven years.

For the average consumer, 34.6 percent of payments were for retail goods, 21.7 percent were for in-person services, 5.4 percent were for online goods and services, 4.9 percent were person-to-person payments and 33.4 percent were for bills. Average cash holdings per person dipped 10 percent to $207, and a majority of consumers (52.7 percent) said they most often got cash from an ATM. The percentage getting cash from tellers declined 1.6 points to 21.2 percent, while the share getting cash at a retail outlet rose 0.5 points to 13.3 percent.