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by Anthony Mondello, AVP, Sales

In 2023, debit cards were the top payment method for 57% of consumers according to Forbes. The popularity of debit cards presents an opportunity for credit unions to build member loyalty and improve their revenue growth by either offering a debit program or finding ways to enhance their current programs to better fit member needs and expectations.

Who Is Using Debit Cards and Why?

Many budget-conscious consumers, particularly those with low incomes, developed a habit of using debit cards for everyday purchases during the pandemic as they shopped more online or took advantage of contactless payment technologies in-store (SPGlobal). Younger demographics are also using debit cards more, with Gen Z showing a 25% increase in debit activity from 2021-2022 (SPGlobal).

Expectations and Needs

With rising costs of living, consumers need a budget-friendly payment method that offers a convenient, secure, and seamless shopping experience. Faster than checks or cash, debit cards can be conveniently used in-store or easily added to digital wallets without the worry of incurring interest rates. Low fees, rewards, and checking accounts that earn interest can make debit cards even more economical for members.

When it comes to security, the top three features important to debit cardholders are suspicious activity alerts, local branch access, and transaction notices (SBGlobal). This suggests consumers are looking for clear communication and support to stay in control of their accounts and protect themselves against fraud. By combining strong in-house customer service with digital tools that provide automatic alerts and notifications, credit unions can provide the kind of support that help members feel confidant using their debit cards.

Credit unions, with their member-first approach to service, are primed to give members the benefits and support they want for their debit cards, building a stronger member-credit union relationship with every debit purchase. By offering a debit program or taking steps to keep your program up to date with consumer expectations, your credit union can build its portfolio while strengthening member loyalty.

At Envisant, we’re here to help you develop a strong, relevant debit strategy that fits the priorities of your credit union and its members. To learn more about the Envisant difference and get started, contact us at 1-800-942-7124.