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The American Bankers Association recently published a whitepaper on the benefits of debit cards versus alternative methods of payment, titled “Debit Cards Cost Less, Provide More.” The paper discusses how debit cards are not only more time efficient in comparison to checks or cash, but save businesses money. While some may believe cash is a quicker method of payment than debit cards, businesses can process a debit card transaction faster than making change for a $20 bill.

According to the whitepaper, “Fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s see the benefits of debit cards: a customer can place an order, use their card and finish the transaction in less than five seconds. On the other hand, cash can take as long as 8 to 10 seconds.” When time is of the essence, each transaction affects the bottom line and a mere 8 to 10 seconds adds up for a business on a daily basis.

Other reasons merchants prefer debit cards? Consumers generally spend more money. Without the restriction of cash, a consumer can spend more money. The whitepaper goes onto cite, “In comparing debit sales to other payment methods, debit cards increase individual sales by as much as 20-30 percent at fast food restaurants and 10 percent at Big Box Discount stores.”

Are your members using debit cards more frequently than cash or checks? What do you think of the shift towards a cashless wallet? Let us know in the comments section below.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp

Neill Harris

Neill Harris is product marketing director for ATM solutions at NCR. He travels extensively to many of the world's leading banks and financial institutions, articulating how self-service technology and innovation can inform and support strategies and solve challenges.