Money spent on debit and credit cards around the world totaled more than the money paid in cash
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Plastic’s new leader status comes from the findings of market research firm Euromonitor International, which has tracked consumer payment types for decades. Its late 2016 reading shows card purchases registering at $23.2 trillion dollars globally, compared to $22.6 trillion spent in cash.
Ten years ago, the amount spent on cards was only about half the cash expenditures, at $7.6 trillion versus $14.9 trillion, respectively. But while cash has climbed about 52 percent over the past decade, the rise of credit and debit transactions has been much steeper, at about 305 percent.
It’s a trend that’s expected to continue, with Euromonitor projecting card spending to grow 6.6 percent annually from 2016-2021, compared to a forecasted annual gain of just 1.3 percent for cash during the same period.
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