Survey Shows Consumers Continue Recession-Like Behavior Despite Increase in Spending

Dallas, TX, July 24, 2013 --( Even as spending continues to rebound from the recession, consumers are using debit cards more frequently than credit cards, according to a recent survey of more than 600 Texans by Dallas-based SWACHA, one of the largest regional not-for-profit electronic payment associations in the country. Debit card use first trumped credit cards during the recession when tighter credit limits and strapped consumers went searching for an alternative to credit.

Debit Cards Used More Frequently Than Credit Cards

According to SWACHA’s survey, debit cards are currently used to make purchases more frequently than credit cards, with 21 percent of Texans using their debit cards daily compared to 14 percent using credit cards.

“We encourage consumers to choose the payment method that works best for them and aids them in making wise financial decisions,” said Dennis Simmons, AAP, president and CEO of SWACHA. “Interest rates, fraud protection, loyalty programs and convenience should all be weighed when choosing a card. Although credit cards have many benefits, it’s important for consumers to pay off the balance every month to avoid additional costly fees.”

SWACHA’s survey found that Texans are doing just that. Among those who have credit cards, 46 percent of respondents said they pay off their balance in full every month while 20 percent who indicated they pay in full most of the time.

Credit Card Loyalty Programs Remain Important to Consumers
As banks continue to revamp loyalty programs to woo customers, SWACHA’s survey shows a strong rewards program can sway consumers’ decisions when choosing a debit or credit card provider. According to the survey, 69 percent of consumers reported credit card rewards programs are important to them with 37 percent ranking them very important and 32 percent ranking them somewhat important. Although slightly lower than credit card interest, 20 percent said debit card loyalty programs are very important and 21 percent said they are somewhat important to them when choosing a card.

“Financial institutions should realize that many consumers are continuing to reevaluate their credit and debit card options and are closely looking at rewards programs to help choose which card is right for them,” said Simmons. “Rewards programs can provide real value to consumers as long as they use caution to ensure that fees associated with reward programs don’t outweigh the incentives.”

About the Survey
SWACHA’s online survey of 601 Texas residents was conducted in April 2013, by Decision Analyst with a confidence interval of 95 percent and a corresponding margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Only those respondents who identified themselves as the person responsible for the paying household bills were permitted to complete the survey.

SWACHA-The Electronic Payments Resource®, is one of the largest not-for-profit electronic payments associations in the country with approximately 1,100 members across the Southwest. SWACHA is the resource of choice for financial institutions and corporations in the areas of education, training, payments system risks and knowledge about electronic payments. For more information visit:

Twitter: @SWACHA

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of releases based on SWACHA’s 2013 Consumer Insights Survey.
Granado Communications Group
Denise Lessard