MADISON, Wis. (7/16/10)--The new payment mix, or the different ways consumers choose to pay for goods, is more about market share than about which payment dominates or will dominate, according to the Filene Research Institute. Credit unions need to recognize that a complex mix of payments--from debit cards to credit cards, each attuned to the context and convenience of the purchase--is here to stay, Filene said. Debit cards have been used by more than half of U.S. households for barely a decade, and there is no evidence that a peak in debit use is imminent--although changes to interchange rules could affect those trends, Filene said. Filene also noted:
* Intensive credit card users have higher incomes and higher debt levels than those with neither card and those with only debit cards. Intensive users also have higher household net worth and a higher net worth to income ratio; * Intensive debit card users are generally younger. Debit-only users decrease by age, from 29% of 18- to 29-year-olds to just 7% of those over 70. Conversely, credit-only users increase by age, from 29% of 18- to 29-year-olds to 49% of those over 70; and * The fraction of households using electronic billing has grown much faster than those for earlier technological innovations.