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Download PDF (pdf, 302 kb) The 2018 report on the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC) was the fourth Diary study conducted by the Federal Reserve.A demographically-representative sample of approximately 2,800 individuals participated in the Diary in October 2017.Instead, the reason for the change in shares is cash usage dropped more sharply in the – bucket than debit, while credit was unchanged, resulting in a loss of market share for cash.
Individuals between 18 and 25 made approximately 24 payments per month, with debit cards comprising 12 of those payments and cash making up 8 of the 24 total payments.
While debit was the most used instrument for the younger cohort, the share of cash use was the same for individuals 18 to 24 and 45 and older at 34 percent.
The body of this paper is structured into four sections, with each section exploring various aspects of cash usage.
Section 1 details trends in cash usage; Section 2 discusses how payment preferences influence the use of cash; Section 3 explores cash holdings by demographic cohort; and Section 4 outlines payment use by transaction characteristic and merchant type. Additional information about the 2017 DCPC is available through the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.2 This paper would not have been possible without the support and contributions of the following individuals.
Debit and credit cards were generally used for larger transactions, with the average debit and credit transaction being $46 and $67, respectively.
For purchases between and .99, debit cards were used 34 percent of the time.
Findings from the 2017 DCPC show: Consumers continue to use cash predominantly for smaller value transactions, with cash being used for 55 percent of payments under and for 32 percent of payments between and .99.
Because the majority of reported transactions were below in value, cash was the most used instrument overall.
Interestingly, 2017 represents the first year debit was used at a higher rate than cash within this price range.
Participants reported making approximately three quarters of all payments in-person and, for those payments, cash was used approximately 39 percent of the time.