Survey: Electronic Payment Rules the Day

Washington, D.C., Consumers continue to embrace an expanding array of payment choices, according to a nationwide consumer-payment preferences study conducted by the American Bankers Association (ABA) and Boston- based Dove Consulting, a division of Hitachi Consulting. ACI Worldwide, Citigroup, The Clearing House and MasterCard sponsored the research.

The 2005/2006 Study of Consumer Payment Preferences found that for the 58 individual payment choices consumers make each month—whether in stores or over the Internet, or while paying bills—consumers choose electronic payments more often. Cash and checks now account for only 45% of consumers’ monthly payments—down from 57% in 2001, and 49% in 2003.

“The consumer switch to electronic payments is increasing across the board—albeit at different rates,” said Jane Yao, ABA’s managing director of benchmarking and survey research. “We all know that consumer use of electronic payments for in-store purchases has increased steadily for years and much of the ‘easy’ migration has already occurred. This year’s survey results show that electronic bill pay is quickly catching up.”

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