Though consumers are now being far more cautious about dealing with credit card debt, they are still relying on those accounts, and their debit cards, more often than cash when making purchases from retailers.
Debit and credit, respectively, have both surpassed cash and checks as the most common type of payments at real-world retail stores in the U.S., according to new data from Javelin Strategy and Research. Further, over the next several years, both card-related payment methods are expected to grow even more popular and increase their share of total transaction volume, thanks in large part to an increase in use for both prepaid cards and mobile wallet credit card platforms.
Further, it's expected that credit card purchases will continue to increase in volume as the economy improves over the next five years, the report said. In all, retail purchases at real-world point of sale locations, rather than online, total about $3.8 trillion annually, and make up roughly 96 percent of all sales in the U.S.
Many consumers have been more careful with their outstanding balances since the recession, when many faced financial trouble and needed to seek some amount of debt relief.