Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plastic Offers Benefits Over Paper Payments

Millions of American consumers are opting to pay with a credit card or debit card when making purchases instead of using the more traditional methods of paying by cash or check.

One of the main reasons consumer are paying so frequently with a credit card or debit card is due to convenience. Credit card and debit card payments allow consumers to handle transactions without having to fumble for cash or go to an ATM. Paying with plastic also lets them skip the time-consuming steps of digging through their pockets or purses and counting out exact change. And, with larger numbers of businesses adding the option of credit card and debit card payments, the convenience for shoppers only grows.

Although certain consumers may feel that plastic payments are less secure than the paper variety, some experts feel otherwise, noting that cash or checkbooks are easily lost or stolen. While identity theft remains an issue for credit card and debit card users, these experts note that they still offer more safeguards than with paper.

Credit card and debit card payments also appeal to merchants, who appreciate the assurance of payment. With checks, there is the issue of float time, or the period until a check clears the bank. Float time can be costly for merchants since the money does not reach them right away.

So, while cash may always be king to some people, credit card and debit card use is on the rise.

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