4 Payment Methods Most Widely Accepted in the US in 2023 (2024)

As a small business owner, the last thing you want is to lose sales for something as simple as not accepting your customer’s preferred payment method. Still, limited payment options is one of the most common reasons for shoppers abandoning their carts at the checkout stage.

Rather than using trial and error to figure out which payment methods you should offer your US clients, you can use this guide to help you identify which options are best.

We’ll show you the 4 most popular methods of payment in the US, plus how they work and which consumers are most likely to use them. This should give you a good understanding of exactly which types of payments your business should accept to ensure you make the most sales possible.


What Are the 4 Most Preferred Payment Methods in the US?

The United States is home to a diverse population of consumers, which is reflected in the different payment methods they use. Let’s take a closer look at the 4 most popular methods of payment in the US.


Cash is the physical currency – including bills and coins – that can be used to buy goods and services. In the US, that’s US dollars (USD), of course.

Despite the increasing popularity of contactless and electronic payment methods like credit and debit cards and ewallets, cash usage still remains widespread throughout the US.

In fact, data shows that 30% of US consumers prefer to use cash, with around 25 to 30% of all transactions being made with physical currency.

Debit and Credit Cards

Debit and credit cards are used to pay for goods or services online and in person. According to a recent US Statista Global Consumer Survey, 52% of consumers have used a debit card online in the last year and 47% reported using a credit card.

When a cardholder makes a purchase with a debit card, funds are directly deducted from the account the card is linked to. If there are insufficient funds in the account, the card will be declined.

With a credit card, the funds are drawn from a line of credit provided by the cardholder’s bank. These funds are repaid to the bank at a later stage. If the debt is not repaid in time, the bank will charge interest.

The main debit and credit card brands in the US include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard and Maestro
  • American Express
  • Discover

Electronic Payments

There are three main types of electronic payment methods used in the US:


An ewallet, also referred to as a digital or mobile wallet, is a software application that stores payment information like credit card or banking details to enable the purchase of goods or services.

Today, ewallets are rapidly growing in popularity because they offer a quick, convenient, and contactless way of making payments online and in store.

According to a recent study, an estimated 150 million Americans currently use a digital wallet or have used one in the past. Popular ewallets used in the US include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal.

ACH Transfers

An Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer is an electronic money transfer between banks. Funds are withdrawn from one account and deposited in another. These transfers use the ACH network and tend to be cheaper than bank transfers.

With ACH debit transfers, the funds are withdrawn (pulled) from an account, as is the case with recurring billing or subscription payments.

ACH credit transactions allow funds to be sent (pushed) to other accounts. This type of transfer can be a transaction made from a business to a customer (e.g. refunds) or employees (e.g. payroll).


An echeck, or electronic check, is a faster and safer digital version of a paper check that uses the ACH network to transfer funds. Echecks can be easier to deal with than traditional checks.

Once a business has requested authorization from a customer, payment is set up, submitted, and processed through the ACH network. Funds are withdrawn from the customer's account and deposited into the business’s bank account, usually within 3-5 days.

Bank Transfers

A bank transfer is a method of sending funds from one bank account to another. It can be made via an online banking app or in person at a bank branch.

Bank transfers offer an alternative for customers who don’t own a credit card or have limited credit. They’re popular for large purchases because they’re safe, reliable, and secure.

What Method of Payment Is the Most Popular in the US?

When choosing which payment methods to offer your customers, it’s important to take into account that the US is a large and highly diverse market. The most popular method may vary depending on your industry and the type of customers you serve.

In general, credit and debit cards are the most widely used payment method. This is mainly due to their flexibility and level of convenience for consumers.

More than half (52%) of US consumers used a debit card in the last year, with 47% using a credit card. With such widespread usage, knowing how to accept credit card payments online is a must for any online business targeting a US market.

Pay.com allows you to accept all of the most popular payment methods in the US, including credit cards and debit cards, ACH transfers, and mobile wallet payments. You can track which methods your customers prefer in your Pay Dashboard.

Click here to get started with Pay.com now!

Preferred Payment Methods in the US by Age Group

Age GroupPreferred Payment Method
9-25 (Gen Z)Debit cards, cash, credit cards
26-41 (Millennials)Debit cards, credit cards, cash, mobile wallets, bank transfers
42-56 (Gen X)Credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, checks
57–75 (Baby Boomers)Checks, credit cards, debit cards

Overall, studies suggest that the older a consumer is, the less likely they will be to use digital payment methods like ewallets or cryptocurrencies.

The Benefits of Using Pay.com to Accept Payments from the US

Pay.com is a full payment service provider that lets you start accepting online payments quickly and easily.

You can accept a variety of preferred payment methods, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, ACH transfers, digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay, and more – the choice is up to you!

Once you create your Pay.com account, setup couldn’t be easier. You can choose between our no-code solutions, perfect if you’re just starting out, and our developer-friendly APIs that allow you to integrate the Pay.com system into your own website.

You can track all your transactions in the simple and intuitive Pay Dashboard, which also provides you with in-depth insights and reports about your customers’ purchasing habits.

The Bottom Line: You Can Accept the Most Popular Payment Methods in the US

Credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers, and cash are the four most popular payment methods for US consumers.

While each option comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, it’s clear that the thing shoppers value the most is convenience. As a business owner, it’s essential that you offer your customers an easy way to pay.

The simplest way to let your customers pay with their favorite methods is to sign up with Pay.com. The Pay Dashboard allows you to track transactions so you can see exactly how your clients prefer to pay. You can add payment methods to your website whenever you need to, and customize your checkout page to match your own branding.

4 Payment Methods Most Widely Accepted in the US in 2023 (2024)


What is the most popular online payment method 2023? ›

"Debit card" and "Credit card" are the top two answers among U.S. consumers in our survey on the subject of "Most common online payments by type".

What are the most used payment methods in the USA? ›

While cards are the most popular way to pay, alternative payment methods are becoming more common. PayPal has a substantial presence in the ecommerce space, and other alternatives, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay ™ are gaining traction.

What is the most widely accepted form of payment? ›

Cards are still the most-used payment method, with American Express, Mastercard, Visa as large global card schemes. Even though they're recognized globally, other payment methods like online banking, direct debit, digital wallets, or Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) are more common elsewhere.

What is the most common purchase method used in the United States? ›

In general, credit and debit cards are the most widely used payment method.

What is the most preferred online payment method? ›

Credit and debit cards are the most popular payment method for making online purchases.

What is the most popular digital payment method? ›

Some of the most popular options include:
  • PayPal.
  • Apple Pay.
  • Google Pay.
  • Samsung Pay.

What are three most common methods of payments? ›

Traditionally, cash, debit cards, credit cards, and checks were the main types of payments. Now, more advanced forms of digital payments are becoming more popular. This includes online payment services, digital currencies, and electronic transfers.

Which method of payment is the most common and the most secure? ›

What is a secure payment method? Debit or credit cards are generally regarded as the safest.

What are the most popular payment services? ›

Our picks for best payment processing companies
  • Helcim: Best overall payment processor.
  • Square: Best all-in-one payment processor.
  • Clover: Best for POS hardware options.
  • Stripe: Best for online, international transactions.
  • PayPal: Best for alternative payment methods.

What is the safest form of payment to accept? ›

Personal and Cashier's Checks

Like we mentioned, it's pretty dangerous to walk around with your pockets full of large bills, and for that reason the buyer may choose to pay you in a personal or cashier's check. Besides cash, a certified cashier's check is the most secure way to accept payment during a private sale.

What is the most used online payments by brand in the US? ›

We asked U.S. consumers about "Most used online payments by brand" and found that "PayPal" takes the top spot, while "Skrill" is at the other end of the ranking. Find this and more survey data on most used online payments by brand in our Consumer Insights tool.

Is cash or card more popular? ›

Most purchases are made with debit cards, and then credit cards. An industry survey found that most consumers fall in the middle of the spectrum and use a variety of payment methods, and so 88% of consumers will use cash occasionally. Nearly 90% of people will use a card payment at least sometimes.

What is the fastest growing payment method? ›

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is now the fastest-growing payment method. By 2024, an estimated $306.8 bn of e-commerce purchases will be made via BNPL, increasing from $97.2bn in 2020.

What is the future of online payments? ›

With global cashless payment volumes expected to increase by over 80% from 2020 to 2025, the digital payments industry is experiencing significant growth that's fueled by emerging payment trends and new payment methods.

What is the most secure payment method for selling online? ›

Secure online payment methods
  • Credit cards. The most familiar form of online payment is also one of the most secure payment methods. ...
  • Voice payments. An increasing number of customers are authorising payments using their voice. ...
  • Payment services. ...
  • EMV-enabled credit cards. ...
  • Contactless payments. ...
  • Payment apps. ...
  • Gift cards.
Jan 18, 2022

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