An interesting survey has just been published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, implying that the recession has impacted on the use of credit cards.
There have been studies issued recently, with PWC's paper among them, suggesting that as our household budgets are being squeezed we now prefer to pay off rather than spend the credit available on our plastic.
But the publication from Boston concentrates more on the fact that because of many defaults a lot of people now have bad credit scores and are not using credit cards simply because they can't get them rather than by choice.
The study did look only at consumers in the U.S., where subprime lending was rife and resulted in the near collapse of the banking systems across the globe. Here in the UK we also saw people defaulting on their loans, so it is probably fair to assume that it could be the reason for the decline in the use of credit cards on our shores too.
The same research also shows that people who were not impacted by the recession and still have high credit scores continue using credit cards ahead of the debit ones.
It seems like credit cards have really suffered as a result of the economic downturn. The negative impact seems to be twofold and it is hard to see how this payment type will recover.
Humans are creatures of habit and at the moment they are getting used to ways other than credit cards to pay for their shopping. With more payment channels than ever entering the picture consumers may be won over by those and never return to the good old plastic again.
Credit cards remain a preferred online payment method and the card issuers themselves are beginning to fight back through special offers and inventive marketing. The problem is that credit is no longer as easy to obtain now as prior to 2008. The issuers will need to work with banks to encourage them to lend more.
Ultimately though it will be down to the wider public to decide how we want to pay.
Follow Eva Grzybek on Twitter: www.twitter.com/paypointdotnet