Debit cards 'experiencing significant growth in Australia'

Debit cards are becoming increasingly popular among Australian shoppers as they look to control their spending, an expert has observed.

Card market analyst Mike Ebstein, principal of MWE Consulting, told the Sydney Morning Herald that debit cards offer people stability at a time when fears are growing about the Reserve Bank’s rate hikes and instability in the financial markets.

"Debit cards are experiencing significant growth in Australia … [and] one of the drivers of the growth in debit is the control afforded by these cards in a time of economic uncertainty, rising interest rates and volatile markets," said Mr Ebstein.

In addition, the specialist suggested the discipline of covering payments in full each month – a trend which is encouraging more Aussies to compare debit cards – is also leading to a growing take-up of charge cards as a payment option.

Charge cards were described as a "middle ground" between credit cards and debit cards, given that it is mandatory to pay the balance on them in full every month.

Current Australian charge card issuers include American Express and Diners Club.

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