Consumers see a future for mobile, but favor debit and cash today

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Over time, alternative forms of payment will become more of the norm, according to U.S. consumers' predictions.

Debit cards are currently the most favored payment method, with nearly 43% saying it is their main form of payment, according to a recent LendEDU survey of 875 Americans ages 18 and older.

Nearly 32% chose cash as their preferred payment method, followed by credit cards at 23%. None of the newer alternative payment methods, such as mobile wallets, virtual currency or e-checks rated as high as 1% as a main payment method.

However, when asked to predict their top method five years from now, mobile wallets like Apple Pay jumped to nearly 10% and virtual currency rose to 1.37%.

As for the distant future, when asked how they felt their children and future generations would make payments, digital wallets became the top choice at 28%. Virtual currency was nearly 9%, while cash fell significantly but remained in play at 11%. Debit cards were second at 22%.

Of the 597 survey participants who said they had moved away from cash as a top payment method, 2.51% said they never carry cash anymore. But 13% said they always carry cash, 17% said more often than not, 41.3% said they carry sometimes, and 25.6% said they rarely have cash in their wallets.

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