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Through a survey-based experimental study, we assess the influence of payment type (credit and debit cards) on consumer purchase intentions. We find that consumer use of credit cards stimulates intention to purchase whereas the use of debit cards lessens consumer intention to purchase. We test the influence of payment type on consumer intention across three purchase situations – buy a TV (control condition), buy a TV plus accessories (buy more condition), and buy a more expensive TV (upgrade to better quality condition). Consumers using credit cards demonstrate positive purchase intentions when faced with a decision to “buy more” and when they are presented with an opportunity to “upgrade to better quality.” They are more likely to upgrade than to buy more, almost significantly so (p < .06). The traditional economic thought has been that preferences do not change with payment type, but the use of credit cards allows consumers to purchase more. Our results indicate that credit also changes preferences, as 60% of consumers using credit cards intend to upgrade their brand selection. We also find that with debit cards consumers are likely to have higher intentions to not purchase in the “buy more” and “upgrade to better quality” conditions than the control condition. We extend the buyer behavior model (Howard and Sheth 1969) and most subsequent research in consumer behavior to include the influence of payment type on purchase intentions. The differential effect of a number of individual characteristics is established on consumer intentions to purchase when using credit cards versus when using debit cards.
Agrawal, Arvind, "Do Payment Types Affect Consumer Preferences?" (2015). Marketing & Entrepreneurship Faculty Proceedings & Presentations. 1.