Payment services firm TSYS conducted the 2016 Consumer Payment Study to find out whether consumers prefer to use cash, mobile wallets, PayPal, credit cards or other payment methods when buying thing online, versus in brick and mortar stores.
Overwhelmingly, folks said that they feel most secure using payment cards of some sort to pay for things, no matter where they are. More than two-fifths of respondents said that given the choice between a debit card and a credit card when paying for purchases online, they would choose to use their credit card. Thirty-five percent of people said that when checking out at a physical store, a credit card is also the safest way to pay.
When paying online, a surprisingly low percentage of people prefer to use PayPal – it came in a distant second to credit cards. Debit cards were the safest payment method online, according to 12% of survey respondents, and 18% said they were the best choice when paying in a brick and mortar store.
One-tenth of respondents expressed no preference either way, indicating they felt that cash, credit cards, and debit cards were all equally safe payment methods in any retail environment.
Changes over the years
In 2013, 33% of people preferred to pay by credit card, overall. Three years later, that percentage has jumped to 40%. Cash has been the preferred payment method by 10% of those surveyed, in both 2013 and 2016.
Name recognition seems to play a part in how much people trust their credit card issuer; 71% of folks said that when using mobile payments, they would prefer to use a mobile wallet backed by a bank with which they were familiar.
The preference for using credit cards may not only be due to security concerns, but also because credit cards offer rewards programs and cash back offers that make them attractive to use for many folks. Combined with benefits such as extended warranties, price guarantees, and purchase protection, credit cards clearly have the edge for many consumers.
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