Credit VS Cash, Who Do You Think Will Win?

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An entirely cashless world is not on the horizon but you deserve to understand the changing trends around how customers make their purchases. Let’s take a look at what current market research is showing and how you can capitalize on it.


In a 2016 study by U.S. Consumer Payment Study by Total System Service Inc found that for the first time credit cards overall are the preferred method of making payments. When respondents answered a question about payment methods for online shopping, 47% of people chose credit card vs 25% choosing debit cards for check out.

Safety is the primary concern for customers when it comes to using their cards. With the recent data breaches, no one can fault their concerns. When asked about online shopping the respondent’s said using their credit card felt the safest. Also, 74% of people said that the security and fraud protection of their card provider was the most important thing.

Making a payment with their phone or using a peer-to-peer payment app made a huge leap in 2016. This should be no surprise to anyone who is taking payments from customers. Paying for a purchase with a phone is only going to increase going forward and 44% in this study responded that they “likely, definitely or already had a credit card loaded on their phone.” Security came up again for many reasons why survey respondents would have their credit and debit cards uploaded to their phone.

Finally, the study found cash continued to be the preferred method of payment to individuals, coffee shops, and fast food restaurants. When people are paying friends, family and the handyman they prefer cash three times more than credit or debit cards.

Now that we know a cashless world is not on the horizon but online shopping is done preferably with credit cards, you may be wondering how does this apply to you the event promoter? Here are three things you can do to take action on these findings and offer your attendees means of payment that are relevant to their spending habits.

  1. Make sure your payment software is secure and accepts credit/debit cards.
  2. Accept both cash and card on site for any purchases your attendees may make at your event.
  3. Additionally, consider offering a business versions side of peer-to-peer payment methods such as Venmo or Square Cash because the use of them are on the rise.

If these methods fit into your business model it is best to be diversified in accepting money than to limit your customers.