Debit cards - Statistics & Facts

A debit card, often also just known as a bank card, is a plastic payment card used for the withdrawal of cash from an ATM, and for non-cash payments. Debit card users cannot go into debt because they can only use the money currently in their account, unless they sign up for overdraft coverage, which may make it a less risky option to using a credit card. Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay were the biggest debit card issuers by purchase transactions in the world in 2015, but Visa was the clear market leader with over half of the purchase transactions.


The prevalence of debit card usage has continued on its trajectory of growth, reflected by the increasing spread of ownership in the United States . In recent years the use of debit cards has become so widespread that their volume has all but overtaken cheques and, to some extent, the use of physical cash as a payment method. The results of a survey carried out in April 2016 in the U.S. showed that Americans used debit cards mainly to pay for groceries and automatically recurring purchases.

Unlike credit credit cards, payments made using a debit card are transferred directly from the cardholder’s bank account, incurring no charges for payment at a later date. Many debit cards belong to the Visa or MasterCard brand but there are many other that exist only within particularly countries or regions.

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Debit cards - Important statistics

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