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Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Research Data Report
The 2016 and 2017 surveys of consumer payment choice: summary results
Claire Greene
Joanna Stavins
Abstract

Despite the introduction of new technology and new ways to make payments, the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) finds that consumer payment behavior has remained stable over the past decade. In the 10 years of the survey, debit cards, cash, and credit cards consistently have been the most popular payment instruments. In 2017, U.S. consumers ages 18 and older made 70 payments per month on average. Debit cards accounted for 31.8 percent of those monthly payments, cash for 27.4 percent, and credit cards for 23.2 percent. The SCPC continues to measure new ways to shop and pay and found that the increase in the number of purchases made online between 2015 and 2017 is statistically significant. In 2017, consumers on average made 5.6 online purchases per month, which account for 8 percent of all transactions and are up from 6.9 percent of all transactions in 2015. Use of mobile technologies continued to grow: In 2017, one-third of consumers made a mobile payment, compared with one-fourth in 2015. Compared with the findings for 2015, a greater share of credit card adopters paid their balance in full at the end of the month in 2017: 45 percent in 2017 versus 41 percent in 2015.


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Claire Greene & Joanna Stavins, The 2016 and 2017 surveys of consumer payment choice: summary results, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Research Data Report 18-3, 10 May 2018.
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Keywords: cash; checks; checking accounts; debit cards; credit cards; prepaid cards; electronic payments; payment preferences; unbanked; Survey of Consumer Payment Choice
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