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Title: The U. S. Debit Card Market
Published: January 2004
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The following is the abstract from the full report:
The debit card has emerged from the shadow of its older sibling, the credit card. Over the past decade, debit card has grown from accounting for 274 million transactions in 1990 to 8.15 billion transactions in 2002, to challenge the credit card as the preferred payment card in the United States. As it stands, the debit card industry is a multi-billion dollar engine that helps drive bank profits and point-of purchase consumer sales - but is also beginning to redefine traditional payment options in the business and government sectors, such as food stamps, benefits, and payroll. The debit card has arrived and is here to stay.
And yet, though it remains poised for growth, the debit card has also reached a crossroads. A recent settlement has cost VISA and MasterCard approximately $3 billion, and has dramatically reduced the fees they can charge for signature-based debit purchases. The effects of the settlement reach into every layer of the industry - from rewards incentives, to marketing programs, to future fee arrangements, and future growth. Consumer preferences for PIN- or signature-based debit will certainly influence how things unfold, and whether either debit card option will suffer or bloom in the short, mid, or long term.
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