“The amount of debit cards is growing at a faster rate than that of credit cards, according to RBR’s Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021 study,” as Business Insider reports.
Debit cards already account for 70% of payment card use around the world, a number “that’s expected to hit 72% by 2021. Debit card growth will drive up the total amount of payment cards worldwide even as credit cards decline.”
Though this isn’t necessarily just a move “away” from credit. As the article notes, “emerging markets will lead the debit card charge. There are 2 billion people who are unbanked, according to the World Bank, indicating that a massive portion of the global population lacks access to banking services.”
So as much as anything, the debit card represents an alternative to cash, especially for populations who are newer participants in global electronic payment systems.
Or as RBR Senior Associate Chris Herbert said in comments at Pymnts.com., “there are comparatively low levels of bank account and card holding in India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan and, therefore, huge numbers of possible new clients who have not yet entered the banking system.”
As Herbert added, “despite varying levels of maturity of the cards markets in different countries, we forecast that debit cards will continue to see faster growth than credit cards, as a result of rising bank account holding and regulatory and economic pressure on the credit card sector.”
But the bottom line for your business is still the same: The number of those “paying by card” will continue to grow, and you’ll need to respond both on and off line for those whose growing preference is to “pay with digits.”
Additionally, as debit card use continues to take up a bigger share of those card purchases, the demand for “card safety” — protected data — will also grow: Customers and clients will want to know their transactions are secure, and that merchants have updated their POS equipment (for EMV standards, mobility, and everything else).