1 trillion paid by debit cards in 2006

Debit purchases have experienced a boom over the last five years, rising from $421 bln in 2001 to an estimated $1 trillion in 2006, according to Mintel. According to Mintel’s survey for this report, 76% of respondents now have or use a debit card, up from 73% in September 2005. As American consumers become more comfortable using debit cards, Mintel reports that the tendency to use them for smaller purchases is growing. From packs of gum to lattes, close to 25% of Mintel respondents reported pulling out their cards for $2 to $10 purchases throughout the year. 10% of respondents reported using debit cards for purchases under $1.