Debit card swipes on the rise

With the economy still struggling, more consumers are managing their money by using debit cards for their purchases.

A study commissioned by PULSE indicates that debit card use will continue to increase in popularity throughout the year.

Payment with debit cards increased 10 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to the survey. Just under 60 percent of all debit card swipes were for sales of less than $20 in 2009.

Even as consumers cut back on spending, they enjoy the “pay-as-you-go” method of payment and consistently reach for their debit card, says PULSE executive vice president Cindy Ballard.

“The debit market has continued to weather the economic storm as a result of consumer preference for debit and increasing merchant acceptance of small-ticket debit transactions,” said Ballard.

Even with their convenience, debit card’s may not always be the best payment option. U.S. News and World Report says that payment with a credit card should be a consumer’s first choice.

Fraud committed with a debit card could potential wipe out a person’s checking account, whereas fraud on a credit card only effects a consumer’s line of available money to be borrowed, they say.