Financial institutions long have served the consumer market for debit cards, but issuers also see potential new revenue from business debit cards, Cindy Ballard, executive vice president for the Houston-based Pulse electronic funds transfer network, tells PaymentsSource.

“Many of the financial institutions that participated in Pulse’s 2010 Debit Issuer Study said business debit was one of their growth opportunities,” she says. Of the 64 financial institutions surveyed, 70% issue business debit cards, but that represents only 6% of the market, Ballard notes.

Businesses use their debit cards an average of 13.1 times per month, the Pulse study found. The average ticket size for business debit card transactions is $91 for signature debit and $64 for PIN debit. By comparison, consumers use their debit cards an average of 17.3 times per month, and the average ticket size is $35 for signature debit and $41 for PIN debit.

Businesses generally spend more because their expenses often include office supplies, which tend to cost more than the gas and groceries consumers purchase most often, Ballard says.

Boston-based management-consulting firm Oliver Wyman Group conducted the research for Pulse in February and March, gathering data from large banks, credit unions and community banks. Collectively, the participants issue 78.7 million debit cards.

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