2019 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice

Claire Greene and Joanna Stavins
July 2020

This paper describes key results from the 2019 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the sixth in a series of diary surveys that measure payment behavior through the daily recording of the spending of U.S. consumers.

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JEL classifications: D12, D14, E42

cash, checks, checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, electronic payments, payment preferences, Diary of Consumer Payment Choice

https://doi.org/10.29338/rdr2020-04

  • Interactive Charts



  • Abstract

    In October 2019, almost half of all payments (43 percent) U.S. consumers made were for groceries, gas, and shopping, both in person and online. The distribution was different by value, as 40 percent of payments were for financial services, including mortgages, credit card bills, other loan payments, insurance, investments, and so on. The most commonly used payment instruments were debit cards, cash, and credit cards, which jointly accounted for 80 percent of all payments by number and 37 percent by value. By value, about 40 percent of consumer payments were made via ACH payments, executed either through online banking bill payment or by providing a bank routing number and account number to the payee. The average amount of cash a U.S. consumer held in his or her pocket, purse, or wallet was $60 (the median was $24).

    This paper describes key results from the 2019 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the sixth in a series of diary surveys that measure payment behavior through the daily recording of the spending of U.S. consumers. The DCPC is the only diary survey of U.S. consumer payments with data and results that are available to the public free of charge.

  • Key Findings

    • In October 2019, almost half of all payments (43 percent) U.S. consumers made were for groceries, gas, and shopping, both in person and online.
    • By value, 40 percent of payments were for financial services, including mortgages, credit card bills, other loan payments, insurance, investments, and so on.
    • The most commonly used payment instruments were debit cards, cash, and credit cards, which jointly accounted for 80 percent of all payments by number and 37 percent by value.
    • By value, about 40 percent of consumer payments were made via ACH payments, executed either through online banking bill payment or by providing a bank routing number and account number to the payee.
    • The average amount of cash a U.S. consumer held in his or her pocket, purse, or wallet was $60 (the median was $24).
  • Data Sets

    Results

    Public Use Data Sets

    Day-level data sets:
    Each row of these data sets contains one diary-day per respondent.

    Individual-level data sets:
    Each row of these data sets contains one respondent's observations.

    Transaction-level data sets:
    Each row of these data sets contains one transaction for its unit of observation.

    Additional Resources

    Outside Resources