PSCU Releases Eye on Payments Study Revealing Consumer Payment Preferences

Study reveals consumers’ payments needs are driven by safety and convenience

The nation’s premier payments CUSO, PSCU, has announced the release of its Eye on Payments study. The study, which surveyed credit union members and non-members about their payments preferences, highlights the ways consumers apply these needs and desires to their choice in payment methods and gives key information about the factors that influence consumers on a daily basis.  

Through this research, PSCU set out to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence consumers when it comes to their choice and usage of different payments methods, how these factors may differ among different life stages and how credit unions can better meet these preferences and needs. PSCU discovered that when making payments, consumers today are motivated by two primary needs: safety and convenience.

“Consumers are faced with purchasing decisions every day. As the payments landscape continues to evolve at a rapid speed, it is more essential than ever for credit unions and other financial institutions to effectively manage innovation and security to ensure all of their products, services and offerings are meeting consumer expectations,” said Tom Pierce, Chief Marketing Officer for PSCU.

Key findings from the study include:

  • According to the survey, 13 percent of credit union members have been a victim of card fraud and 4 percent have had their identity stolen in the last year alone. Similarly, 11 percent of non-credit union members were a victim of card fraud and 4 percent also had their identities stolen during the same time period.
  • While one third of respondents currently use digital payment methods, 38 percent cited concerns about security as a reason for not using digital payments. With improved fraud detection tools now available and consumer education about the value of these tools, financial institutions can help mitigate any hesitation consumers may have when it comes to digital payments and maximize opportunities related to mobile wallets.
  • Nearly three-fourths of people agree that they make decisions about how they will pay for something primarily based upon which option is the most secure. Convenience and comfort are just as important as safety concerns for those choosing to use credit and debit cards.
  • Baby Boomers prefer to use a credit card more than any other age group. They are also more likely to use a credit card over cash, which breaks the stereotype that Boomers are set in their older ways.
  • Generation Z is already comfortable with conducting their banking and making transactions online. However, the survey found that this group is more interested in having a financial adviser at their fingertips – more so, even, than Millennials. This generation is paving the way for a future where digital payments and quality, personal assistance will merge.
  • Debit is the most often used payment method among credit union members when making in-store purchases. Debit cards have the potential to serve as a replacement payment method for cash users, particularly at routine retail locations. Paying with a debit card is both convenient and allows for better budgeting. When they choose to use a debit card, both credit union members and non-members like it for its convenience and ease of use.

“Credit unions in particular – where ‘people helping people,’ customer service and personal relationships have always taken priority – are dedicated to meeting member needs for safety and convenience. PSCU plans to use insights uncovered from the study to spearhead conversations around secure leadership in the digital financial world and to deliver possibilities and seamless experiences to our Owners and their members,” added Pierce.

MaritzCX, on behalf of PSCU, surveyed more than 1,500 credit union and non-credit union members from across the United States. The online survey, which took place in September 2018, was taken by participants aged 18 to 65+. Of those surveyed, 54 percent were female and 46 percent were male, and demographic characteristics of those surveyed closely align with consumer data from CUNA’s 2018 Member Profile.

The Eye on Payments white paper is available for download on the PSCU website.

About PSCU

PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO, supports the success of over 900 Owner credit unions representing more than 2 billion transactions annually. Committed to service excellence and focused on innovation, PSCU’s payment processing, risk management, data and analytics, loyalty programs, digital banking, marketing, strategic consulting and mobile platforms help deliver possibilities and seamless member experiences. Comprehensive, 24/7/365 member support is provided by contact centers located throughout the United States. The origin of PSCU’s model is collaboration and scale, and the company has leveraged its influence on behalf of credit unions and their members for more than 40 years. Today, PSCU provides an end-to-end, competitive advantage that enables credit unions to securely grow and meet evolving consumer demands. For more information, visit pscu.com.