In 2019, U.S. consumers made 69 payments per month on average. Consumers made 6 in 10 payments with debit, credit, or prepaid cards: 42 payments. Debit cards were used most, for 24 payments, followed by credit cards (17 payments), and cash (15 payments). Over the 12 years of the survey, debit, cash, and credit have consistently been the most popular ways to pay.
Some notable results about consumer payment behavior in 2019:
- Fifty-nine percent of consumers adopted mobile banking and 75 percent online banking.
- Half of consumers adopted at least one online payment method, such as PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle.
- Three-quarters of consumers paid electronically from a bank account, either by using their bank’s online bill pay or providing their bank account number to a third party.
- On average, consumers made 30 percent of in-person retail payments in cash in a typical month.
- Half of consumers reported that in a typical month they made at least one payment to another person (friend, family, etc.).
From 2018 to 2019, the share of payments made with cash declined two percentage points, a statistically significant change. The shares of payments made with cards (debit, credit, prepaid) was stable; no change was statistically significant. The shares of consumers who purchased goods or services online or who made a mobile payment were stable from 2018.
Derived Variables with Raw Data
- Raw data files hosted at USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research website
Send data questions to Senior Survey Specialist Kevin Foster.