Banks need not worry about "cannibalizing" their card portfolios if they offer customers alternative payment methods, because the latter attracts a different type of consumer, a SunTrust Banks Inc. executive said.

"What drives the use of one [method] over the other is payments preference," Steve Karp, SunTrust's executive vice president of enterprise payments strategy, said this week at the ATM Debit & Prepaid Forum in Las Vegas. (The conference is hosted by SourceMedia Inc.) For example, some customers prefer alternative payments because of the perceived ease of use and increased security, he said.

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