Consumers Prefer Cards to Pay, Choices Differ by Age, Shows Fiserv Research
Interest in digital card options has grown, with physical cards still in demand
“Credit and debit card usage among consumers remains robust, with each generation displaying unique habits and preferences when it comes to card choice and management,” said
Additional information from the Expectations & Experiences: Cards, Credit and Consumer Control survey can be downloaded here: 2022 Expectations & Experiences: Cards Credit and Consumer Control.
Credit and Debit Preferred for Payments
Most banking consumers prefer to utilize cards as their primary payment method compared to other options like cash, checks, or buy now, pay later (BNPL). Whether dining at a restaurant (75%), buying groceries (75%), or purchasing tickets for a sporting event or concert (77%), consumers of all ages are most likely to opt for a card.
While credit is generally a popular choice for big-ticket purchases, with 51% of consumers preferring credit for in-store purchases exceeding
Among boomers and seniors, 66% prefer credit for large in-store purchases and 73% prefer credit for large online purchases. In contrast, Gen Z prefers debit for large purchases – with 46% choosing debit for in-store purchases exceeding
Rewards Drive Selection of “Go-To” Cards
Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) people who have a credit card have more than one, with 90% of those stating they have a “go-to” credit card they use most often. A significant majority (71%) of multiple card users choose their card based on the opportunity to accumulate rewards. This increases to 80 percent of those making more than
However, younger consumers who use multiple cards have different drivers for credit card selection than other generations. Likely reflecting their newness to managing credit, Gen Z consumers are much more likely to only use one of several cards because they believe it is too difficult to manage multiple card accounts, with 37% of Gen Z consumers citing this reason compared to 17% of consumers overall.
Consumers Want Control
When it comes to managing cards, self-service is important; for example, 82% of consumers manage their credit cards online and 69% manage their cards via mobile devices, a figure that reaches 90% for Gen Z, millennials and Gen X consumers. Alerts are essential for many people, with 61% receiving debit card alerts, 70% getting credit card alerts and 63% of those receiving alerts say an alert has stopped fraud.
Digital and Physical Cards Will Co-Exist
Digital card options are gaining interest, yet consumers are not ready to leave their physical cards completely behind as 43% of debit card users would opt to use mobile debit. This is a marked rise from 25% in 2018. Even so, 68% still want a physical debit card too — with the most common reasons being if their phone is lost or stolen (61%), stops working (56%) or a store does not accept payments via smartphone (50%).
Consumers also like the idea of having an in-person option if they need to replace a card. While two thirds (66%) of debit card users would be more likely to request a replacement debit card online than at a branch, 62% of consumers overall and 74% of millennials say the ability to get a replacement card at the branch would influence where they bank.
Younger consumers also have a preference for a personal touch when it comes to paying bills, with 48% of Gen Z and millennials using in-person bill payment within the past 30 days, more than any other generation.
The survey was conducted online within the