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Federal Reserve to Investigate Credit, Debit Card Usage

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Federal Reserve to Investigate Credit, Debit Card UsageThese days, consumers’ habits for making everyday purchases are changing considerably, and now the nation’s central bank will look into just how those preferences have evolved over the past few years.

The Federal Reserve will soon launch a new study to determine just how much consumers make certain types of electronic and check payments these days, according to a report from the Fed’s Financial Services Policy Committee. This is the fifth installment of this study, as it’s been conducted every three years since 2001.

“While the Federal Reserve’s 2013 Payments Study will continue to build upon trend information gathered in previous studies, this year’s study casts a broader net across the evolving payments landscape,” said Jim McKee, senior vice president of the Fed’s Retail Payment Office and the study’s executive sponsor. “The 2013 study will provide additional data on electronic payment methods, cash deposit and withdrawal information and, for the first time, limited third-party fraud information, in an effort to provide the industry with further insight on emerging trends.”

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Free Credit Check & MonitoringThis newest study of borrowers’ payment habits will be made up of three different surveys, the report said. These will be used to estimate the total number, dollar value and makeup of noncash payments to retailers across the country, and potentially create a fuller picture of the payment landscape at the present time.

Earlier versions of the study showed that Americans are now using checks to make payments far less often than they used to, and are instead relying on electronic transactions including those through automated clearinghouses, online banking services, credit, debit, and even gift cards, the report said. It’s believed that there will be participation from many companies across the industry, as there has been in the past, and that will help to create the most complete snapshot possible with this study, which will likely come out late in the year.

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Image: Dan Smith, via Wikimedia Commons

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