Debit card use is up

A new report shows that debit card use is almost a third higher than it was a decade ago.

Pulse, a Houston based ATM company, released new data that shows the American consumers use their debit cards an average of 21 times per month so far in 2015. This is a 32 percent jump from 2005, where debit card use only averaged at 16.1 times monthly.

In line with the results, consumers are spending more on their cards as well. Purchases this year are, on average, $9.291 annually with debit cards as opposed to $7,807 in 2005. 

The report also found that cash use was down in the last 10 years. In 2005, consumers made a debit withdrawal, on average, 3.4 times per month. In 2014, that dropped to just two times a month.

"Consumer use of debit has been nothing short of remarkable," Tony Hayes, a partner at Oliver Wyman, which co-authored the Pulse study, told The Street. "Debit has steadily gained wallet share as consumers shift their spending to this payment type." Hayes added that one of the reasons for the increase is smaller items. Purchases of $10 or less would have traditionally been made with cash or not at all, but now account for a third of all debit card transactions.

According to The Street, experts expect this number to keep rising, and may one day outpace credit cards. A spokesperson for Pulse claims that there are been steady growth in debit cards since 2005, but the rate increased dramatically in 2008 and 2009, after the recession. Even though the economy is recovering, that rate hasn't slowed. Last year, there were nearly 50 billion debit card transactions in the U.S.

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