When making payments, more consumers are reaching for debit cards. Debit usage has been steadily on the rise among U.S. consumers for the past decade. The same is true for global consumers. Roughly 70 percent of all global payment cards today are debit.
Furthermore, debit card growth does not show any signs of slowing in the global arena. In its “Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021” study, strategic research and consulting firm RBR predicts debit cards will represent 72 percent of all payment cards by 2021. This may be good news for debit issuers.
Much of this debit growth can be attributed to previously unbanked consumers who are now joining the banking system. Emerging markets, particularly those in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions, have considerable potential in this arena. When individuals in these markets begin a relationship with a financial institution (FI), they are normally issued debit cards – thus boosting debit’s representation in the global payments landscape.
As debit rises in popularity worldwide, it increasingly becomes a trend worth monitoring. FIs looking to grow their own debit portfolios may want to consider tapping into the unbanked consumer populations in their areas.