Payment Instrument Adoption and Use in the United States, 2009-2013, by Consumers' Demographic Characteristics

2015 • No. 15–6
By Sean Connolly and Joanna Stavins

Full Text Document (pdf)

Today’s consumer has access to more payment instruments than consumers of just a few years ago. As the number of available payment methods increases, so does the need to understand why consumers adopt certain payment instruments, how consumers choose to pay for purchases, which consumers make certain payments, and who is most affected by changes in the payment system.

Previous literature that examined the association between consumer payment behavior and consumer demographic information was based on data from a single time period. This paper contributes to the literature on this topic by reporting, for the first time, demographic trends in consumer adoption and use of several payment instruments over the period of five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013.

  • Exhibits

  • Implications

    The paper's analysis may help policymakers understand consumers' payment behavior by cohort and may help them envision how any future changes in the payment market might affect the welfare of different demographic groups.