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Insight of the Day: New Study: Younger Consumers Lead Payment Shift From Credit to Debit

Key Findings

  • Younger and lower-income consumers are turning away from credit cards. They are favoring cash and debit cards (often within digital wallets) for managing expenses due to economic pressures.

  • Debit card usage within digital wallets has surged. Debit now underpins half of all grocery and retail digital wallet transactions.

  • Cash use is growing among older, higher-income shoppers. The use of cash for retail and restaurant purchases has increased in this group, possibly indicating a shift in how older affluent consumers are managing their spending.

  • Economic pressures are changing how consumers think about debt and credit. This is especially evident in the younger and lower-income groups who are showing signs of financial strain.

  • Age and income levels heavily influence payment preferences.  Older high-income consumers are the most likely to rely on credit cards, while younger consumers, regardless of income, favor debit.


  • Businesses need to adapt.  Companies must offer a variety of payment options, including debit card processing and digital wallet integration, to stay relevant to modern consumers.

  • Debit cards are becoming a powerful spending tool. Debit's integration into digital wallets opens up new possibilities for budgeting and convenient payment for younger consumers.

  • Financial institutions must address financial health concerns. Providers should focus on developing products and services that help consumers, particularly younger and lower-income ones, avoid debt and improve their financial well-being.

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