Consumers' use of cash to make payments grew in 2009, a Federal Reserve Bank of Boston study released April 7 found.

While debit cards were still the most commonly used payment method, cash use increased. Consumers made an average of 19 debit card payments a month, compared with 18.4 for cash. In 2008, consumers reported making 21.2 debit card transactions a month and 14.5 cash transactions.

The Boston Fed's Consumer Payments Research Center attributed the shift to the economic downturn and card regulation, which it said may have affected card use in general.

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