Visa USA has reported that for the first time ever Americansspent more using their debit cards than they did using their creditcards.

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According to the leading card brand, 2008 debit payment volumewas $206 billion, compared with credit payments volume of $203billion. Debit transactions were nearly 70% of U.S. transactionsfor the same time period, representing an increasingly largerportion of Visa's U.S. transactions, Visa added.

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"In 2002, U.S. Visa debit transactions surpassed credittransactions for the first time, and now payments volume has alsoexceeded credit. This marks an important achievement for Visa, aswe continue to advance migration to electronic payments from cashand checks," said Bill Sheedy, President for North America, Visa,Inc.

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"For more than 20 years, Visa has championed the adoption ofdebit as a convenient and secure payment alternative for consumersand businesses. Now that cardholders can use Visa for almost everytype of everyday spending-from taxis to grocery stores-the value ofelectronic payments over cash and checks is more clearly evident,"Sheedy added.

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