A recent survey by Star System Inc. indicated that customers are using their automated teller machine cards more often at retail points of sale.

Cardholders made debit purchases an average 6.6 times a month, up 57% from 1997. Overall ATM card use increased 26%, to 15.4 times a month.

The study involved 3,100 households in nine western states, where 82% of consumers own an ATM card.

Two-thirds of the cardholders said they believed that using a personal identification number provides more security and user control than paying with a signature-based card. Also, users reported spending an average of 24% more with POS debit versus other payment methods.

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