Consumer Payments Research Center

Contributing to informed public policy for payment systems

The Consumer Payments Research Center conducts survey, econometric, and theoretical research to contribute to public policy that maximizes the welfare of all members of the economy.

2011-2012 Survey of Consumer Payment ChoiceHow Do Speed and Security Influence Consumers’ Payment Behavior?
Econometric models were used to simulate the effect of various changes to payment instrument speed and security..

image of a spedometer2013 Survey Research & Data Available Now
Research report and complete dataset available for download.

image of paper billsU.S. Consumers' Holdings and Use of $100 Bills
On a typical day in the U.S., 5.2 percent of adults have a $100 bill in their pocket, purse, or wallet.
research definition Economic Research
Bibliography of papers using Boston Fed consumer payments data.


Consumer payments per month stable from 2012 to 2013

September 2015. In 2013, the number of consumer payments per month did not change significantly from 2012.

  • The number of check payments continued to decline, offsetting the number of noncheck payments, which continued to increase.
  • Debit cards and cash continued to account for the two largest shares of consumer payments in 2013 (31.1 and 26.3 percent, respectively).
  • The share of credit cards reached 22.5 percent.
  • Almost half of consumers had access to mobile banking in 2013.
  • More than one-third reported that they had used mobile payments in 2013..
More results of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice.

3 questions about consumer payments

March 2015. The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice asks questions in three broad categories:

  • Adoption. Whether or not a consumer owns or has set up access to a particular payment instrument.
  • Use. Whether or not a consumer has used any of nine payment instruments and, if so, how frequently.
  • Assessment. What consumers think about the characteristics of the nine payment instruments, rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Characteristics include security, convenience, and cost.

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