Debit card usage in the US is expected to
continue to grow strongly this year with improved merchant
acceptance helping to drive low value transactions.

A survey of issuing institutions sponsored by
PULSE, an ATM and debit network owned by Discover Financial
Services, showed debit transaction volume had increased 10 percent.
The use of PIN debit grew 13 percent with an average ticket size of
$41. Signature debit transactions increased nine percent with
an average transaction value of $35.

“Despite the uptick in fraud, growth in
the debit market remains solid and the 2010 study identified
specific areas of opportunity for sustaining momentum, such as
business debit and rewards programs that are more integrated with
checking accounts,” said Tony Hayes, an Oliver Wyman partner, who
served as project lead on the study.

According to issuers the main challenge
to growth was government regulations – notably Regulation E in the
United States. Due to be implemented in the summer, it requires
consumers to opt into overdraft services, potentially reducing fee
income and interchange revenue. These two elements currently
produce around $118 of revenue per year per card.