Even as financial institutions and retailers continue their fight over who pays for the debit card network, consumers continued to show the love for cards in general last month.
According to First Data's SpendTrend survey, consumers spent 8.5% more in card transactions in February 2011 than they did in February 2010.
The card processing network attributed some of the increase to rising gasoline prices, noting that average card ticket actually fell by 0.2% compared to February 2010, once gasoline prices were excluded.
Still, the network noted travel spending even outside of higher fuel costs was up, and that, for the first time in two years, the share of spending put on credit cards outpaced that put on debit cards, whether the debit transactions were validated with cardholders’ signatures or PINs.
“February was another good month for overall card spending, despite significant increases in gas prices,” said Silvio Tavares, senior vice president and division manager of First Data Information and Analytics Solutions. “Credit card sales grew substantially as consumers increasingly used their credit cards to pay instead of debit cards and checks.”