News from PR Newswire
Blogger's Call for All Cash Day Could Backfire, Charges National Consumer Group
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Increase in Debit Card and Online Purchasing Good for Consumers and Retailers
WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- If holiday shopping surveys are true indications of consumer purchasing preferences, more debit cards will be swiped this season than credit cards or the exchange of cash and online retailers will see another rise in transactions as buyers look to the Internet and armchair buying, stated Americans for Consumer Education and Competition (ACEC) in response to a call for "A Day With Cash" by blogger site WayTooHigh.com that is encouraging consumers to use only greenbacks for shopping the day after Thanksgiving.
"If the customer is always right, then the latest blogger proposal urging consumers to just say no to electronic transactions flies in the face of consumer preference and will negatively impact retailers," said ACEC National Chairperson Susan Molinari. "I'm curious how our nation's retailers think they would fare on the busiest shopping day of the year, if consumers were limited to pulling paper out of their wallets, and foregoing the payment conveniences the majority clearly wants. Consumers might want to ask WayTooHigh to propose cash discounts next."
Molinari cited a 2004 survey conducted by BIGSearch for the National Retail Federation (NRF) that indicated holiday shoppers last year planned to buy with debit or check cards over credit, cash or checks. Last year Ebay and AOL both conducted holiday shopping surveys that indicated a sharp increase in consumer choice to order online with 78% saying clicking a mouse is more convenient and 51% contending better prices are available on the net. Web- based shopping requires paying with plastic and the shift to shopping from the home computer is a clear sign that more consumers are paying with plastic over paper.
"The overwhelmingly popular choice of electronic transactions is driven by consumer desire and successful retailers understand that and meet their need," said Molinari. "WayTooHigh makes sure to note that the 'all cash day' proposal is not meant to harm merchants or impair commerce -- yet that is exactly what it will do. The train has left the station. We are in a technological age where consumers want to streamline the process of purchasing, better track their own expenses, and maintain a certain amount of security -- which becomes challenging when they carry a wad of cash as opposed to one plastic debit card. It's just not practical and it's not what consumers or retailers want."
Molinari pointed out that to be pro consumer is to advocate for and support consumer preferences and freedom of choice in the marketplace.
"Consumers are largely educated about their buying power, purchasing choices and options," said Molinari. "ACEC conducted a poll on gift cards last year that showed the majority of consumers knew gift cards had fees associated with them, wanted to buy them anyway and did not want government regulation impacting their choice. But that wasn't the perspective we often heard coming from the media. Determining what consumers want most isn't rocket science. All you have to do is ask them."
Americans for Consumer Education & Competition advocates for financial literacy and consumer rights initiatives and enjoys the financial support of VISA USA. ACEC communicates with more than 25 thousand consumers interested in issues from financial literacy to budgeting for retirement to cardholder benefits and rights. In addition, ACEC serves as a clearing-house for information on financial issues, as the organization monitors, tracks and provides analysis of financial legislation and litigation that has a direct impact on consumers.
SOURCE Americans for Consumer Education and Competition
CONTACT: Rebecca Reid, Executive Director of Americans for Consumer Education & Competition, +1-410-267-1128, Cell: +1-410-212-3843
© PR Newswire