Given incentives and a little prompting, consumers will use debit cards to buy goods at gas station and supermarket checkout counters.

Two separate marketing promotions by Visa International and MasterCard International this year successfully put this notion to the test.

During a weeklong campaign in February in the Boston area, Purity Supermarkets increased the number of point of sale debit transactions by 64% at the chain's 58 stores from January.

Purity encouraged customers to use their automated teller machine cards bearing Yankee24, X-Press24, NYCE, or Maestro logos by offering $2 off transactions of $20 or more.

POS Debit Sales Rise

And for the three weeks following the debit marketing program, Purity reported that POS debit's share of total sales held a level 20% higher than the pre-promotion period.

Meanwhile, a May promotion by Visa in North Carolina resulted in a 79% increase in Interlink on-line debit transactions from April.

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