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NEW YORK - For the fist time ever, more American consumers are using debit cards to purchase goods than credit cards as they seek ways to keep a closer eye on their spending, according to a new survey by Visa U.S.A.
During the first six months of the year, there were 3.04 billion Visa debit card transactions compared to 2.96 billion credit card transactions, according credit card association Visa, which surveyed 1,000 of its check card users for the study.
Visa debit cards are issued by banks and allow consumers to pay for products by directly deducting money from their checking accounts as opposed to credit cards which loan money on interest.
Visa said that 60 percent of those surveyed used check cards so they could carry less cash, and 70 percent said using a debit card gave them a better sense of where they spend their money.
Whether or not a store accepts credit or debit cards has become more important to consumers selecting a supermarket, according to Progressive Grocer's 69th Annual Report of the Grocery Industry. "Accepts credit or debit cards" ranked No. 25 on the Store Selection Criteria list in 2001, compared to No. 28 in 2000.