Consumer Payment Card News

Check-Out Pain

A new study shows that Americans are sick and tired of waiting in line at a checkout and are especially pained when someone pulls out a checkbook. The research revealed that using a debit card takes about one-third as much time as writing a check. The in-store research study by VISA USA and National Market Measures found the average time to process a payment using a signature-based debit card was 26.1 seconds, while credit transactions averaged 30.2 seconds, both significantly less than the 75.2 seconds it took to process a check payment. Yet, nearly half of all check writers interviewed during the in-store study incorrectly believed that checks are the fastest payment method. When asked about their reaction to standing in line behind a check writer, many respondents to a just-released online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of VISA, experienced feelings of frustration (49%), have actually moved to another line (40%) and/or left the store without purchasing anything (11%). VISA estimates that the unnecessary time spent waiting in check-out lines adds up to about 5 hours per year.

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