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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.5, May 2009, Posted On: 5/9/2009

Visa's U.S. Debit Card Volume Surpasses Credit For First Time

by Staff Reporter
Visa, debit card, credit card, cashless transactions, Bill Sheedy, vending, vending machine, automatic retailing

SAN FRANCISCO -- Visa Inc. announced that spending on Visa debit cards in the U.S. has surpassed credit for the first time in the company's history. For the period ending Dec. 31, 2008, debit payments volume was $206 billion, compared with credit payments volume of $203 billion. Debit transactions were nearly 70% of U.S. transactions for the same time period, representing an increasingly larger portion of Visa's U.S. transactions.

"In 2002, U.S. Visa debit transactions surpassed credit transactions for the first time, and now payments volume has also exceeded credit. This marks an important achievement for Visa, as we continue to advance migration to electronic payments from cash and checks," said Bill Sheedy, president, North America, Visa Inc. "For more than 20 years, Visa has championed the adoption of debit as a convenient and secure payment alternative for consumers and businesses. Now that cardholders can use Visa for almost every type of everyday spending - from taxis to grocery stores - the value of electronic payments over cash and checks is more clearly evident."

The top categories for Visa debit usage include bill payment, gas, groceries and quick service restaurants. Additionally, Visa research shows consumers have a growing preference for using debit payment in new merchant categories where cash and check were once the preferred way to pay – like dry cleaners, gas/service stations, movie theaters and convenience stores.

"In today's challenging economic environment, debit is an ideal way for consumers to access their own funds and focus on smarter spending, budgeting and control," continued Sheedy.

Visa debit cards feature prominently in the company's recently introduced global advertising campaign, entitled "More People Go with Visa." The print, online and television advertisements promote the security, control and convenience advantages that Visa debit provides over cash and checks.

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