Online Credit Card Transactions Double in Year

The number of US adults using credit cards to purchase goods and services online more than doubled between 1998 and 1999, according to research by Cyber Dialogue. By the third quarter of 1999, 19.2 million adults used their credit cards to make online transactions, compared to 9.3 million in 1998 and only 4.9 million in 1997.

The survey also found that Visa is the most common card used by adults who complete purchase transactions online. Nearly 70 percent of online purchasers who use credit cards online report using a Visa card, while one-third use MasterCard, 12 percent American Express, and 6 percent with Discover.

“The massive surge of credit card use online is an indication that consumers are fast becoming completely comfortable with making purchases online,” said Liz Melcher, executive VP of Cyber Dialogue. “The findings also suggest that credit cards have established themselves as the new online currency when it comes to buying goods and services of any value.”

While Visa retains a dominant market share in terms of the aggregate value of online consumer credit card transactions, Cyber Dialogue found gains by MasterCard and American Express in share of dollars spent. This increase can, in part, be attributed to their relative strength in higher ticket transactions, such as travel arrangements.

Cyber Dialogue’s findings come as part of its American Internet User Survey (AIUS), which consists of random in-depth interviews with 1,000 Internet users and 1,000 non-users.

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