Absa, majority-owned by Barclays, has published a survey revealing growing confidence in the use of debit cards in South Africa.
The use of debit cards at points of sale increased by more than 15 per cent in July, compared to the same period last year.
Cash withdrawals using cards grew by more than nine per cent.
The survey also found that 70 per cent of cardholders feel safe using their Absa debit cards for transactions, with 51 per cent saying they feel in control of their money.
Arrie Rautenbach, Absa Card Managing Executive, said: “Consumers are starting to realise the benefits of using their debit cards as a method of payment because they do not have to worry about carrying cash as it can be risky.
“It is clear that shoppers are now looking for alternative, secure and more convenient methods of payment. Paying with debit cards is safe, quick and easy, and the PIN transaction further helps to protect customers’ hard-earned savings.”
The bulk of consumers’ card spending relates to shopping for groceries (55 per cent), followed by home improvement (eight per cent).
Spending on healthcare, entertainment, fuel and clothing and with other merchants make up the remainder of consumer spending using debit cards.
Women and students use debit cards at points of sale most frequently, while entry-level consumers continue to favour cash, due to factors such as the lack of consumer awareness.
Arrie added: “We are far from becoming a ‘cashless’ society. However, as new technologies such as contactless payments make paying by card easier, many shoppers are encouraged to replace cash for small purchases.”
“In our quest to ensure world-best products for our customers, Absa has embarked on a drive to ensure rapid issuance of chip debit cards, which offer enhanced security as the chip on the card is almost impossible to copy – a steady step in the curbing of card fraud.”