The World Today: Paying with Debit Cards
A few years ago, traveling beyond the borders of the US meant that you needed currency of the country you would visit because you never knew who would or wouldn’t accept the credit card that you carried.
Established restaurants would perhaps accept the card but small coffee shops, souvenir shops or street vendors would not.
The thought of pickpockets watching to see when you were distracted lurked in the back of your mind as you made sure your bag was clutched tightly at your side. And beware of anyone who bumped into you. No doubt it was a thief ready to steal your money.
Debit cards are quickly replacing cash transactions around the world.
How different it is today! Last month, I talked to a friend who had returned recently from a long trip to India. She marveled at the diversity of the country including the beauty of its temples and the teaming crowds at the street bazaars. She visited a number of Hindu temples and at one stop decided to buy some fruit from a street vendor. She didn’t have any currency with her but to her surprise, the vendor accepted her debit card to pay for the fruit.
There was no hesitation about whether the payment was valid. The payment went to the vendor’s bank and into his account quickly and safely with no contract needed between the banks.
Debit card transactions account for more than 69.5 billion payments per year* and continue to grow because consumers want the convenience of a debit card where funds can be added easily to the card and where they have the ability to track their spending.
* Federal Reserve Payment Study – 2016