The unstoppable rise of debit and credit card payments has been underlined by a new set of figures, which serve to highlight the migration away from cash.
Given the ease with which consumers can spend on plastic, it is perhaps easy to see the attraction and a new report from Mastercard, one of the world’s largest payment networks, has reinforced that point.
That’s because figures from the firm show that Mastercard enjoyed a 21.1 per cent rise in second-quarter profit, with spending on its credit and debit cards rising 11.7 per cent.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, the results were, in fact, better than many analysts had speculated and further the view that cash is becoming increasingly obsolete.
In the most recent quarter, for example, cardholders made as much as $734 billion in purchases on MasterCard cards, a rise of 11.7 per cent on a local-currency basis from 12 months earlier.
Purchase volume, meanwhile, had increased 10.5 per cent on a local-currency basis in the first quarter.
And with an increasing number of consumers turning to web-only retailers to buy their goods, there is good reason to believe that this trend will continue, in the US and further afield, in the coming years.
In the UK, certainly, there has been a dramatic shift away from the high street and towards the online sphere.
Indeed, recent reports show that online payments made using debit and credit cards are increasingly popular.
Some 36 per cent of consumers polled in a recent study said that they do the majority of their shopping online; by way of contrast, 32 per cent said they do most of their shopping on the high street.
Allied to this, more than one in ten admitted to buying something online at least once a day.