2013 • No. 13–2
By Kevin Foster, Scott Schuh, and Hanbing Zhang

Full Text Document (pdf)

In 2010, the number of consumer payments increased nearly 9 percent from 2009 as economic activity began to rebound from the financial crisis and recession. Cash payments by consumers, which had increased sharply in 2009, did not fall back but rather grew another 3 percent in 2010. However, the share of cash payments, the dollar amount of cash withdrawals, and cash holdings by consumers decreased moderately in 2010. Credit card payments by consumers increased 15 percent, reversing more than half the 2009 decline, and the steady trend decline in paper check payments by consumers continued. Debit cards and cash continued to account for the two largest shares of consumer payments (31.1 and 28.6 percent, respectively), and consumer adoption of all types of prepaid cards (38.2 percent) increased notably in 2010. Mobile banking and mobile payments by consumers continued to show moderate increases through the end of 2010, consistent with early stages of technology adoption. The 2010 SCPC contains new results that may help researchers and policymakers identify potential indirect effects of Regulation II (Durbin Amendment) on consumers and may help to inform the Federal Reserve's new strategic plan for the payment system.