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Debit Cards Top POS Payment Option: Survey

While tech options make major inroads, cash still second-most popular way to pay, J.D. Power finds.




PHOTOGRAPHY: JLco – Julia Amaral/

Whether consumers have swiped, tapped, dipped, waved a wrist or held a device near a card reader at a retail location in recent months, chances are good that they’ve used some form of digital, point-of-sale (POS) payment option in addition to cash. According to the first-ever J.D. Power U.S. Consumer POS Payment Program, consumers are using roughly four different types of payment methods, including debit cards, cash, credit cards, digital wallets and buy now/pay later (BNPL).

“The POS payment landscape is moving very quickly, and consumers are being confronted with so many different options that we’re seeing a real splintering of the total addressable market,” said Miles Tullo, Managing Director, Banking and Payments at J.D. Power. “Consumers now use multiple different payment options for dozens of different reasons, mostly correlated with specific needs but sometimes out of basic habit.”

Below are some key findings of the just-released survey from Power:

  • Debit cards dominate POS marketplace: Despite the widespread availability of new forms of digital payment, debit cards are used by more consumers than any other form of payment at the point of sale, with 78 percent of consumers indicating that they use debit cards for purchases. Debit cards are followed by cash (74 percent); credit cards (66 percent); digital wallets (36 percent); gift cards (33 percent); BNPL (28 percent); merchant apps (20 percent); checks (19 percent); prepaid cards (14 percent); pay by bank (7 percent); and cryptocurrency (3 percent).
  • Typical consumer uses multiple different payment options in different scenarios: While most consumers say they use debit cards, they also say they use multiple forms of payment. On average, consumers are using four different payment methods, and the reasons given for each varies considerably, incorporating everything from ease of use to the perception of social status associated with different forms of payment.

Click here for more from the survey.



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