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CHECKS REMAIN PREFERRED PAYMENT METHOD FOR GENERAL MERCHANDISE; MOST CONSUMERS RESISTANT TO DEBIT CARDS, SURVEY FINDS

 CHECKS REMAIN PREFERRED PAYMENT METHOD FOR GENERAL MERCHANDISE;
 MOST CONSUMERS RESISTANT TO DEBIT CARDS, SURVEY FINDS
 RINGWOOD, N.J., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Checks remain the preferred payment for general merchandise purchases over $25, according to a recent consumer survey commissioned by JBS Associates. The survey of 224 adult shoppers at malls in the Denver and San Francisco areas also found that most were resistant to the debit card concept.
 Asked to cite the form of payment they use most often for non- grocery shopping when spending $25 or more, 48 percent of the consumers cited checks, followed by cash at 32 percent, credit cards at 18 percent and debit cards at 2 percent. In a similar survey conducted at the same malls last year, 46 percent of the shoppers cited checks, followed by cash at 34 percent and credit cards at 20 percent (debit cards were not listed as an option).
 Both the 1992 and 1991 surveys were conducted by an independent marketing research firm for JBS Associates, Ringwood, one of North America's largest check authorization companies.
 All told, 49 percent of those polled said they frequently use checks for purchases above $25, while another 23 percent pay by check sometimes, 9 percent rarely use checks and 19 percent never pay by check.
 Asked why they pay by check, the largest proportion of frequent and sometimes users cited a desire to keep credit card bills down. The second most frequently cited reason was that paying by check was as convenient in some stores as using a credit card.
 Among those who rarely or never pay by check in stores, a preference to pay by cash and the lack of a checking account emerged as the top two reasons.
 On the debit card issue, 53 percent of those polled indicated that they knew what a debit card is. Among those familiar with debit cards, the majority, 54 percent, said they didn't have one and had no plans of getting one; 39 percent already had a debit card, and 7 percent said they planned to get one.
 Following an explanation of what a debit card is, 62 percent of those who were previously unfamiliar with the concept said they would not consider getting one; 27 percent said they would consider getting one and the remaining 13 percent were uncertain.
 In both groups (those familiar and previously unfamiliar with debit cards), those resistant to the concept cited an unwillingness to carry another card and concern over the loss of float as their primary reasons.
 Commenting on the findings, Carl J. Williams, president and CEO of JBS, said, "The results clearly indicate that checks remain a key payment method at the point-of-sale. Equally important, most consumers are still very wary of debit cards, the method being pushed in some quarters as an alternative to checks.
 "While debit cards may end up making greater inroads now than when originally introduced in the 1970s, it's apparent that most consumers will continue to resist this concept," Williams continued. "With a sizable proportion of those shunning debit cards admitting that they don't want to sacrifice 'float,' it's evident that many consumers like the flexibility a checking account offers. They want to continue to have the ability, when necessary, to write a check today with the knowledge that the appropriate funds will be deposited tomorrow."
 -0- 6/25/92
 /CONTACT: Gabrielle Tarpey of JBS, 800-526-5380; or Bill Parness of Parness & Associates, 908-290-0121, for JBS/ CO: JBS Associates ST: New Jersey IN: FIN SU:


GK-TS -- NYFNS1 -- 3560 06/25/92 07:30 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 25, 1992
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