Debit cards gaining on credit cards

Although cheap credit cards have hogged the limelight as the plastic payment method of choice for Aussies for many years, debit cards are waiting in the wings.

According to East and Partners, there has been a steady increase in the number of people who are using debit cards in the last couple of years, with the group predicting that they are going to continue to challenge credit cards as the economic troubles deepen.

The two are now fairly evenly matched when it comes to taking a share of total payments, with credit cards accounting for 26.5 per cent of all sales, while debit cards are used for 24.6 per cent.

“We still see credit cards as being a pretty important payment method, but the move towards debit is becoming stronger,” said plastic payments analyst Zoran Knezevic, speaking to WAToday.

He added that the popularity of debit cards is likely to increase as the credit card ATM charges come into play.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has insisted that the new charge will increase competition among banks, although experts have warned that those living in rural areas could end up getting stunned.

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