In love with the debit card but still married to cash
Using shopping diary survey data we show that changing payment patterns is a challenging task; even when consumers have fallen in love with the debit card, they find it hard to divorce from cash. While seven out of ten Dutch consumers report to prefer using the debit card, only seven out of twenty actually mostly pay by debit card. The likelihood that reported preferences and actual behaviour do not match increases with income, education and age. Consumers with payments in cash-intensive sectors, where the wide acceptance of the debit card is a relatively recent phenomenon, are more likely to overestimate debit card usage than other consumers. The likelihood of a gap also increases with the amount of cash that consumers carry with them and decreases with the average transaction size. Our findings indicate that persistent habits are an important explanation why the substitution of cash by debit cards took place at a slower pace than was expected.
Keywords: payment patterns, cash, debit card, households, survey data, diary data, economic psychology.
JEL classifications: C25, D12.
Working paper no. 461
- Carin van der Cruijsen
- Lola Hernandez
- Nicole Jonker