FINANCE

Survey: Electronic Payment Rules the Day

BY CSA STAFF

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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Tuesday Morning Posts 9.2% Income Growth

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas, Tuesday Morning Corporation reported net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 increased 9.2% to $8.2 million, compared to $7.5 million for the third quarter of 2004. As previously reported, net sales for the third quarter of 2005 increased 3.3% to $192.3 million from $186.1 million for the third quarter last year. Comparable store sales, excluding the impact from the hurricanes, decreased 3.6% for the third quarter of 2005.

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Wal-Mart Bolsters Eco-Friendly Practices

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., On the heels of a plan to make health care more affordable for its associates, Wal-Mart Stores introduced a second major act of corporate responsibility: this time it’s corporate policies aimed at environmental stewardship. The company hopes to save costs as well as reduce energy use in its stores, increase the fuel efficiency of its trucking system and encourage its vendors to follow suit, the New York Times reported. In an address to employees, CEO Lee Scott said: “As one of the largest companies in the world, with an expanding global presence, environmental problems are our problems.”

Some of Wal-Mart’s plans specifics are to invest $500 million in technologies that will reduce greenhouse gases from stores and distribution centers by 20% over the next seven years; increase the fuel efficiency of its truck fleet by 25% over the next three years and double it within 10 years. The company also intends to design a new store within four years that is at least 25% more energy-efficient.

The company recently unveiled an experimental store in McKinney, Texas, that includes eco-friendly features such as a 120 ft. –tall wind turbine, solar panels and a bio-waste boiler that converts waste oil from cooking fryers and motors into heat.

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