Debit Card Issuers Report Continued Consumer Acceptance
Merchant debit card acceptance has driven consumers' use of the cards to all time highs, according to debit processing network PULSE. For the 2010 Debit Issuer Study, PULSE commissioned global consulting firm Oliver Wyman to survey sixty-four leading financial institutions about their customers' use of debit cards.

According to study respondents, roughly two out of three American consumers with access to debit cards use them on a regular basis. Although market penetration remains relatively stable, more cardholders have discovered more ways to use their cards. New merchant point-of-sale terminals highlight the availability of debit card processing in grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail locations.

Debit card issuers recognized potential threats to their profits, currently estimated at about $118 per active card, per year. Merchants' point-of-sale systems often default to PIN-based transactions, which have helped grow user acceptance at the cost of higher signature-based transaction fees. However, with PIN-based transactions growing at an annual rate of 13%, most issuers remain optimistic that they can make up missing revenues through increased transaction volume.

About the Author


Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.