Consumers are clearly moving away from cash and checks in favor of electronic payments. That is particularly the case for debit cards, now growing at a double-digit
annual percentage rate. More than half of Visa's transactions now come from debit cards, while credit cards have experienced a significant slowdown in growth.
Visa and chief rival MasterCard are looking to pump up profits by creating alternatives to the cards. Both companies are testing programs that transform cell phones into payment devices that can also receive targeted offers and discounts.