Credit card payments and debit card transactions are in some cases becoming more common than cash exchanges. Consumers have embraced the convenience of swiping their cards at retailers’ payment gateways, and merchants have found they can benefit as well. Revenue often hits bank accounts sooner when purchases are completed with electronic methods. 

However, a recent study from Visa suggests that the advantages may be significantly more far reaching

“The findings from the study confirm what Visa has long maintained – the migration to electronic payments increases economic efficiencies and supports global economic growth,” said Charlie Scharf, CEO of Visa Inc. “Notably, electronic payments helped to mitigate what would otherwise have been an even slower recovery from the global recession as card penetration and usage provided an important and measurable boost to economies.”

The study revealed that electronic payments stimulated economic growth in the United States and other emerging economies. Global real gross domestic product (GDP) jumped from 1.6 percent to 1.8 percent per annum thanks to consumers’ use of plastic payment cards, the report explains. In the U.S. alone, card use pumped $127 billion into the economy, according to Visa. 

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