Aussies calling on debit cards during crunch

Australians are growing keen on debit cards as a way to keep tabs on their spending, the latest RBA figures show.

Consumers are increasingly turning to debit cards to pay for purchases as they look to avoid mounting debts during the downturn.

The latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) show that over the course of March, total debit card spending increased 12.9 per cent, taking the total racked up on the cards to $2.2 billion.

The new debit card figures from the RBA follow a trend identified in a study released by Visa in December, which showed that many customers are growing increasingly keen on debit cards as it gives them access to their own cash as and when they need it.

Explaining the surge in the popularity of debit cards, Brian McGrory, Visa’s head of debit products for the Asia Pacific region, said: "Some of this is obviously due to economic conditions but it is also due to consumers being able to choose how and when they use their own money."

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