New statistics released on January 21 by Roy Morgan have indicated that more Australians than ever are now utilising a debit card, while the popularity of credit cards is on the decline.
According to the research firm, the number of Australians aged over 18 who hold a debit card has increased by 90 per cent over the last two years.
Meanwhile the number of credit card users has dropped significantly over the same period, from 47.8 per cent in January 2010 to 43.3 per cent in January 2012.
Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris attributes the change to consumers becoming increasingly wary of debt.
"Card providers would need to be mindful of this market trend and make the necessary adjustments to their product offering in order to maintain their appeal in the changing consumer cards landscape," said Mr Morris.
Regardless, the statistics also confirmed that plastic is still the way to go for Australian consumers. 75.5 per cent of respondents to the Roy Morgan survey said that they had a major credit and/or debit card in the latest survey, up from 67.3 per cent in January 2010.
While payment cards have made day to day purchases as well as online shopping much easier for the average consumer, it is also important to point out the risks that have also emerged with this technology.
In order to protect the personal information of customers, any retailer who accepts debit or credit card payments needs to ensure they are in adherence with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
The PCI DSS is a set of strict regulations set down by the world's leading payment card providers, and compliance with these standards is an important part of ensuring vulnerability management and the security of customer data.