Checks, Cash Being Beaten To a POS By Debitcards

Pity the poor greenback. The National Retail Federation released the results today of its annual holiday shopping survey and neither cash nor checks fared well, having been beaten to a POS by debit cards and check cards.

Those debit/checkcards did their magstrip-tease to the tune of 39.1 percent of all expected consumer purchases, up from 34.3 percent last year. Presidential portraits got the Mr. Bill treatment (terrible play-on-words intended), dropping to 24.3 percent from 28.5 percent last year. Checks dropped sharply to 6.2 percent from 9.1 percent last year.The online survey of 8,090 consumers was conducted Nov. 1-8, with a margin of error of +/- one percent.

Although credit cards are faring poorly compared with debit cards, they've actually gained a bit this year, ringing in at 30.5 percent compared with last year's 28.2 percent and even compared with 2004's 29.5 percent. Why the slight resurgence for credit cards? "This time of year, people need an option how to finance purchases," said Phil Rist, VP/Strategy for BigResearch, who did the research study for NRF. "They want to have the option of spreading the payments over time."