35% of US consumer spending was via credit/debit/prepaid cards

2004 was the year that cashless transactions exceeded cash for the first time in retail purchases. The US Department of Commerce reports that $2.1 trillion of the $6 trillion in consumer spending in 2004 was made by using credit, debit, prepaid, and other forms of cards. Nilson Report projectsc that $3.6 trillion, nearly 50% of all consumer spending, will be cashless by 2008, and that 50% of all vending machines in the $40 bln US vending industry will be equipped with cashless transaction technology. The Kiplinger Report forecasts that wireless, cashless technology will increase sales in the vending industry from $40 bln to $70 bln by 2008.