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Preferred POS payment methods in the U.S. 2020

Credit card was the most used payment method in the United States in 2020, with 38 percent of point of sale payments being made by credit card. Using a debit card was the second most common payment method, followed by cash.

Why does payment method matter?

One of the major functions of a currency is a means of exchanging goods and services. In the increasingly digital era, cash payments are becoming less common in most markets. The smartphone has revolutionized the convenience and security of digital payments, as have other technological changes in point-of-sale units. For merchants and financial institutions, knowing which payment instruments will dominate can prepare them to handle future transactions.

Traditional payment options

While digital methods, such as digital or mobile wallets, have become more common, the number of credit cards does not seem to be declining significantly. This is in part due to the fact that these wallets use a credit or debit card to facilitate the transactions. As such, these payment methods are likely to remain common, at least in this capacity. The purely digital options, known as cryptocurrencies, are currently constrained by such factors as lack of governmental supervision or lengthy transaction times, keeping them from becoming more popular.

Leading point of sale payment methods in the United States in 2020

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Release date

January 2021


United States

Survey time period


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Statistics on "Credit cards in the United States"

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