2020 Annual U.S. Debit Card Market Data Review


What the future may hold for debit card issuers and cardholders in the U.S.

Mercator Advisory Group releases new research reviewing and forecasting activity in the U.S. debit card market.

Author: Sarah Grotta
Published on: June 8, 2020

Debit card activity in the United States was very brisk in 2019, posting strong growth, but the future growth of debit cards and how they will be used will change materially as the economy is altered by the impacts of the global novel coronavirus pandemic. Mercator Advisory Group’s latest research report, 2020 Annual U.S. Debit Card Market Data Review, presents data on how the market was progressing and what the future may hold for debit card issuers and cardholders.

“Use of debit cards now and in the near term will be slowed the most by historically high unemployment, which affects typical debit card users, who make less than $75,000 annually on average, and by the closure of all but essential retailers. Offsetting this is the trend seen in the past of consumers favoring debit during recessionary periods,” commented Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group, author of the report.

This research report is 16 pages long and has 9 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Amazon, Mastercard, and Visa.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Review of debit card transaction and dollar volume growth trends in past years.
  • Forecasts of debit growth through 2022 in light of a brisk “U”-shaped recovery or an extended recessionary period.
  • Discussion of how the pandemic has is jolting and shaking loose old payment habits and is likely to be positive for the use of debit in remote channels and create interest in contactless payments.
  • The role that ATMs have played during the pandemic.
  • Suggestions for what issuers can do to help debit cardholders now, including options for instant issue, promotion of digital support apps like card controls, and altering debit rewards to be most relevant to current needs.



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