How America Pays in 2015

By Blackhawk  Network

Shoppers are using a larger variety of payment options with digital and mobile payments serving as supplements to the traditional cash and card-based payments tools, according to new research released by Blackhawk  Network.

The research, “How America Pays in 2015: Traditional, Digital and Mobile Convergence in Payments,” surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to examine how they pay today, their preferences for traditional and emerging payments tools and how safe Americans believe different payments tools to be. An infographic detailing the payments research can be viewed for free  here.

“Consumers still have a strong preference for traditional payment methods like debit cards and prepaid cards. Those payments tools are not going away anytime soon, even as interest in and usage of new payment methods grows,” said Teri Llach, chief marketing officer at Blackhawk Network, a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network. “Our findings prove that payments is not either/or when it comes to legacy payments versus emerging products; it’s really about convenience and providing a mix of  options.”

Key findings from the Blackhawk Network survey  revealed:

  • Cash, checks, cards still the most used payment methods with select digital offerings close behind: Shoppers used the following payment methods over the last year:
    • Ninety-three percent used cash
    • Sixty-eight percent used debit cards
    • Sixty-eight percent used checks
    • Sixty-seven percent used credit cards
    • Sixty-two percent used PayPal
    • Forty-eight percent used retailer gift cards
    • Forty-five percent used Visa or MasterCard gift cards
    • Thirty-three percent used prepaid debit cards
    • Fourteen percent made mobile payments on smartphones or tablets
  • New payment methods growing, cash and checks declining: Sixty-eight percent of mobile payment users report that they are using the alternative payment methods more than last year. Cash and checks saw the greatest declines in use overall.
  • Gift cards’ popularity is significant: Eighty-seven percent of consumers surveyed think merchant-specific gift cards are convenient to use, even higher than bank-connected debit cards (82 percent). Additionally, gift cards are now mainstream payment methods with almost half of consumers (48 percent) using them in the last year.
  • Mobile wallets now used by 25 percent of smartphone owners: What do consumers place in their mobile wallets? Sixty-four percent of users have debit cards in their mobile wallets, 58 percent have credit cards and 45 percent have gift cards.
  • Cash, cards considered most convenient payment methods; checks and bitcoin least convenient: When asked to select the most convenient payment methods, consumers selected cash (93 percent), credit cards (92 percent), PayPal (90 percent), and retailer-specific gift cards (87 percent). Ranking most inconvenient were bitcoin and checks.

The research surveyed more than 1,000 American adults in April of 2015. To access the full infographic detailing the payments research, click  here.

Blackhawk Network built its business on pioneering new products that shoppers love and widely adopt such as open loop gift cards, ticket cards, regional retailer cards and digital gift cards. This success is rooted in Blackhawk’s expertise in shopper marketing and dedication to industry leading research on shopper behaviors and emerging  trends.

About Blackhawk  Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk’s digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit and

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