Report

The 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice


Abstract: This paper describes key results from the 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the fourth in a series of diary surveys that measure payment behavior through the daily recording of U.S. consumers' spending. The DCPC is the only diary survey of U.S. consumer payments available free to the public. In October 2017, consumers paid mostly with cash (30.3 percent of payments), debit cards (26.2 percent), and credit cards (21.0 percent). These instruments accounted for three-quarters of the number of payments, but only about 40 percent of the total value of payments, because they tend to be used more for smaller-value payments. In contrast, electronic payments accounted for 30.3 percent of the value of total payments but only 8.9 percent of the number of payments. Checks, at 17.7 percent, continued to account for a relatively high percentage of the value of payments. The average value of a cash transaction was $23.4, compared with $109.3 for the average noncash transaction (and $83.3 for all transactions). The average value of consumers' holdings of cash on their persons (in pocket, purse, or wallet) was about $60.

Keywords: debit cards; Diary of Consumer Payment Choice; prepaid cards; checks; checking accounts; cash; payment preferences; credit cards; electronic payments;

JEL Classification: D12; D14; E42;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Part of Series: Consumer Payments Research Data Reports

Publication Date: 2020-04-01

Number: 2018-5

Pages: 22