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The latest signature debit figures have come in from Raddon Financial Group and the numbers by and large track as expected. The data indicate clearly that both the percentages of people who have a debit card and the percent of people who use a debit card have continued to rise, although the numbers of users rose more as steadily more consumers have decided to start activating and using their cards. The numbers also show that the people most likely to use their signature debit cards, even more than upscale debit card holders, are those people in their 30′s who are middle class but who are used to using credit cards and cards generally. Agreements between Visa and MasterCard and the major retailers have kept the overall interchange scale for transactions low for the smaller cash value transactions. In fact debit transactions under $15 in which the consumer uses a signature actually costs a credit union two cents whereas the interchange rate begins to take off for transactions of $100 and above. And finally, despite rewards programs designed to help drive debit cardholders to sign instead of use their personal identification numbers, most consumers still do not really care whether they sign or enter a PIN number to validate their transactions. All these conclusions can be seen in the charts below. -

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