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Credit And Debit Card Usage Keeps Growing

In order to ensure that a Canadian business owner is eligible to participate in Synergy Merchant Services’ unique cash advance program, there is one very important criteria that must be met. The business must accept credit and/or debit cards as methods of payments at their locations. The program is based squarely on a company’s ability to process Visa, MasterCard and/or Interac transactions.

In this day and age, it actually amazes us that there are still merchants out there who do not have a relationship with a point-of-sale processor and therefore do not accept any of these cards as forms of payment. Interestingly, The QMI Agency reports today that the use of plastic is only becoming increasingly popular in North America.

In an article posted on The Toronto Sun‘s website, it was revealed that debit cards are especially becoming more widely used for everyday purchases throughout the continent. Says the report: “Debit cards are increasingly propping up the bottom lines of credit card giants MasterCard and Visa, reflecting a shift in spending habits…MasterCard reported a 25% jump in fourth-quarter profits.”

The article, in fact, goes on to note that the use of MasterCard debit cards are increasing globally. The credit card giant reports worldwide purchase transactions of $2.8 billion US last year – a 16.5 per cent jump from the year previous.

Patricia Preston, head of MasterCard’s U.S. debit product management and development division reveals that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with plastic. She notices that they generally tend to use debit cards for everyday purposes while credit cards are most often used for larger ticket items. The use of cash and cheques for most purchases is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

She explains that debit cards give consumers a sense of control over their spending as they acknowledge that it teaches them to only spend what they can afford. Meanwhile, as successful as MasterCard continues to be, its biggest rival Visa also reports major profits boosted by debit card use. A 33 per cent spike in profits was reported for their latest quarter.

Visa CEO Joseph Saunders agrees that a shift towards greater debit card use has helped to foster this growth. As The QMI Agency reveals: “Visa debit transactions rose 17% in the quarter that ended Dec. 31 compared to the year-ago period. Debit purchases now make up 54% of total U.S. payment volume.”

At present, Visa maintains a larger debit card presence than MasterCard although its competition remains confident that it is cutting into Visa’s market share. Nevertheless, this is all very good news for merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard as forms of payment in their establishments.

Of course, Interac or debit card usage in Canada continues to be very popular. We strongly advise any merchant not currently accepting plastic to look into getting a payment processor as soon as possible. Your acceptance of plastic will greatly increase your sales and obviously allow you to then take advantage of Synergy’s merchant cash advance program.

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