This paper investigates the impact of consumers’ safety perception on debit card and cash usage. A conceptual framework of safety perception and payment behaviour is introduced and tested with 2008 consumer survey data. The results demonstrate that consumers’ payment preferences for cash and debit cards are strongly affected by how consumers assess the likelihood and seriousness of safety incidents related to cash, debit cards and ATM withdrawals. Risk aversion, personal characteristics and personal experiences all play a significant role. This study underlines the importance of effective safety measures, which minimise the risks inherent in the payment system, and of clear communication towards consumers, so that they may continue to pay efficiently and safely in all circumstances.
Keywords: debit card, cash, fraud, safety, payment behaviour, risk perception, risk aversion.
JEL-codes: C42, D12, E41.