Wednesday, May 2, 2007

People Using Plastic For "Micro-Payments"

When Kai Ryssdal is isn't narrating my stamp purchases, he's reporting things like this: "MasterCard says its quarterly profits jumped 70% over this time last year. Cardholders used the plastic 16% more, spending $509 billion."

I'm a little disturbed by a credit card company's profits making a jump like that, but deeper in the story there may be some better news, particularly when it comes to debit cards.

From the story:

"Analyst Anarag Rana of Key Bank Capital Markets says the card industry is reaping the benefits of the push to go cashless for small purchases.
ANARAG RANA: These guys have an initiative to penetrate the sub-$20 transaction market. That marketplace that was sort of insulated from, you know, card-based payments for some time.
And it's not all about racking up credit card debt, either.

David Robertson is publisher of the Nilson Report, which analyzes the card industry.
DAVID ROBERTSON: What is happening in the United States is the great use of the debit card. We're now a debit card country more than a credit card country."

You can listen to or read the transcript of the story here.

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