4 Payment Methods Most Widely Accepted in the US in 2023 (2024)

As a small business owner, the last thing you want is to lose sales for something as simple as not accepting your customer’s preferred payment method. Still, limited payment options is one of the most common reasons for shoppers abandoning their carts at the checkout stage.

Rather than using trial and error to figure out which payment methods you should offer your US clients, you can use this guide to help you identify which options are best.

We’ll show you the 4 most popular methods of payment in the US, plus how they work and which consumers are most likely to use them. This should give you a good understanding of exactly which types of payments your business should accept to ensure you make the most sales possible.


What Are the 4 Most Preferred Payment Methods in the US?

The United States is home to a diverse population of consumers, which is reflected in the different payment methods they use. Let’s take a closer look at the 4 most popular methods of payment in the US.


Cash is the physical currency – including bills and coins – that can be used to buy goods and services. In the US, that’s US dollars (USD), of course.

Despite the increasing popularity of contactless and electronic payment methods like credit and debit cards and ewallets, cash usage still remains widespread throughout the US.

In fact, data shows that 30% of US consumers prefer to use cash, with around 25 to 30% of all transactions being made with physical currency.

Debit and Credit Cards

Debit and credit cards are used to pay for goods or services online and in person. According to a recent US Statista Global Consumer Survey, 52% of consumers have used a debit card online in the last year and 47% reported using a credit card.

When a cardholder makes a purchase with a debit card, funds are directly deducted from the account the card is linked to. If there are insufficient funds in the account, the card will be declined.

With a credit card, the funds are drawn from a line of credit provided by the cardholder’s bank. These funds are repaid to the bank at a later stage. If the debt is not repaid in time, the bank will charge interest.

The main debit and credit card brands in the US include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard and Maestro
  • American Express
  • Discover

Electronic Payments

There are three main types of electronic payment methods used in the US:


An ewallet, also referred to as a digital or mobile wallet, is a software application that stores payment information like credit card or banking details to enable the purchase of goods or services.

Today, ewallets are rapidly growing in popularity because they offer a quick, convenient, and contactless way of making payments online and in store.

According to a recent study, an estimated 150 million Americans currently use a digital wallet or have used one in the past. Popular ewallets used in the US include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal.

ACH Transfers

An Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer is an electronic money transfer between banks. Funds are withdrawn from one account and deposited in another. These transfers use the ACH network and tend to be cheaper than bank transfers.

With ACH debit transfers, the funds are withdrawn (pulled) from an account, as is the case with recurring billing or subscription payments.

ACH credit transactions allow funds to be sent (pushed) to other accounts. This type of transfer can be a transaction made from a business to a customer (e.g. refunds) or employees (e.g. payroll).


An echeck, or electronic check, is a faster and safer digital version of a paper check that uses the ACH network to transfer funds. Echecks can be easier to deal with than traditional checks.

Once a business has requested authorization from a customer, payment is set up, submitted, and processed through the ACH network. Funds are withdrawn from the customer's account and deposited into the business’s bank account, usually within 3-5 days.

Bank Transfers

A bank transfer is a method of sending funds from one bank account to another. It can be made via an online banking app or in person at a bank branch.

Bank transfers offer an alternative for customers who don’t own a credit card or have limited credit. They’re popular for large purchases because they’re safe, reliable, and secure.

What Method of Payment Is the Most Popular in the US?

When choosing which payment methods to offer your customers, it’s important to take into account that the US is a large and highly diverse market. The most popular method may vary depending on your industry and the type of customers you serve.

In general, credit and debit cards are the most widely used payment method. This is mainly due to their flexibility and level of convenience for consumers.

More than half (52%) of US consumers used a debit card in the last year, with 47% using a credit card. With such widespread usage, knowing how to accept credit card payments online is a must for any online business targeting a US market.

Pay.com allows you to accept all of the most popular payment methods in the US, including credit cards and debit cards, ACH transfers, and mobile wallet payments. You can track which methods your customers prefer in your Pay Dashboard.

Click here to get started with Pay.com now!

Preferred Payment Methods in the US by Age Group

Age GroupPreferred Payment Method
9-25 (Gen Z)Debit cards, cash, credit cards
26-41 (Millennials)Debit cards, credit cards, cash, mobile wallets, bank transfers
42-56 (Gen X)Credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, checks
57–75 (Baby Boomers)Checks, credit cards, debit cards

Overall, studies suggest that the older a consumer is, the less likely they will be to use digital payment methods like ewallets or cryptocurrencies.

The Benefits of Using Pay.com to Accept Payments from the US

Pay.com is a full payment service provider that lets you start accepting online payments quickly and easily.

You can accept a variety of preferred payment methods, including credit and debit cards, PayPal, ACH transfers, digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay, and more – the choice is up to you!

Once you create your Pay.com account, setup couldn’t be easier. You can choose between our no-code solutions, perfect if you’re just starting out, and our developer-friendly APIs that allow you to integrate the Pay.com system into your own website.

You can track all your transactions in the simple and intuitive Pay Dashboard, which also provides you with in-depth insights and reports about your customers’ purchasing habits.

The Bottom Line: You Can Accept the Most Popular Payment Methods in the US

Credit and debit cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers, and cash are the four most popular payment methods for US consumers.

While each option comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, it’s clear that the thing shoppers value the most is convenience. As a business owner, it’s essential that you offer your customers an easy way to pay.

The simplest way to let your customers pay with their favorite methods is to sign up with Pay.com. The Pay Dashboard allows you to track transactions so you can see exactly how your clients prefer to pay. You can add payment methods to your website whenever you need to, and customize your checkout page to match your own branding.

4 Payment Methods Most Widely Accepted in the US in 2023 (2024)


What is the most common payment method in USA? ›

Credit and debit card payments are the most common payment type. Credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover, extend credit to purchasers; they cover the purchase price, and customers pay their card balance every month.

What is the most widely accepted form of payment? ›

The most popular method may vary depending on your industry and the type of customers you serve. In general, credit and debit cards are the most widely used payment method.

What are 4 ways payments are made? ›

A payment can be made in the form of cash, check, wire transfer, credit card, or debit card. More modern methods of payment types leverage the Internet and digital platforms.

Which method of payment is the most common and the most secure? ›

Credit and debit cards

As a merchant, credit and debit card payments are convenient and straightforward: most people have debit cards and know how to use them online. Visa and Mastercard payments are also some of the safest forms of payments.

What are popular payment methods? ›

The top 12 payment methods are credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, autopay, cash, paper cheques, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), Netbanking, mobile payments, UPI & QR codes, POS terminals, and digital wallets.

What are the top 5 payment methods in the US? ›

The top five online payment methods in the US: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, PayPal and Discover. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Amazon Pay are becoming more and more popular. Looking to accept these payment methods? Let us help you.

Which payment method is best? ›

What are the Most Popular Payment Methods in eCommerce?
  1. Credit Card Payment. Credit cards are the most commonly used payment method in eCommerce. ...
  2. Debit Card Payment. ...
  3. Bank Transfer. ...
  4. Direct Deposit. ...
  5. Cash on Delivery (COD) ...
  6. App Payments. ...
  7. Electronic Checks. ...
  8. Cryptocurrency.
Sep 12, 2022

What is the most preferred online payment method? ›

Credit and debit cards are the most popular payment method for making online purchases.

What are the 5 types of electronic payment systems? ›

The use of electronic wallets is expanding every day. E-wallets enable customers to skip entering card information each time, thus promoting a rapid checkout. PhonePe, PayTM, Mobikwik, Amazon Pay, etc are some of the well-known digital or E-wallets in India.

What are the three payment types? ›

Top 8 Payment Methods and How to Accept Each Payment Mode
  • Credit Cards. Credit cards offer a quick and convenient way to make financial transactions both large and small. ...
  • Debit Cards. ...
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) ...
  • Cash. ...
  • Paper Checks. ...
  • eChecks. ...
  • Digital Payments. ...
  • Money Orders.

What are the 4 most common methods of paying providers? ›

Four payment methods (fee-for-service, discounted fee-for-service, capitation, and salary) and three payment adjustments (withholds, bonuses, and retrospective utilization targets) are the basis for nearly all contracts between health plans and your physicians, and they are described below.

What system of payment is widely used today? ›

Debit cards are followed by cash (74%); credit cards (66%); digital wallets (36%); gift cards (33%); buy-now-pay-later (28%); merchant apps (20%); checks (19%); prepaid cards (14%); pay by bank (7%); and cryptocurrency (3%).

What is 4 party payment system? ›

The four main separated parties are: ▪️ Cardholder: The customer. ▪️ Merchant: Selects the gateways and the acquirer. ▪️ Acquire: Process the payment and ensure the money transfer. ▪️ Card-issuing bank: As the cardholder bank, it is responsible for confirming the card's validity and the existence of funds.

What is the most used wallet in the US? ›

For consumers using digital wallet apps, 69% of respondents stated they used PayPal the most, making it the most popular option. According to our study, the next most popular mobile wallet payment options are Google Pay (56%), Apple Pay (53%) and Samsung Pay (52%).

What is the best way to pay for things in USA? ›

A travel card or debit card used in conjunction with a travel-friendly credit card will give you a cost-effective way to make both over the counter purchases and ATM withdrawals in the USA. It's important to have more than one way to access your money when you're abroad.

Is cash or card more popular? ›

Convenience and safety are two of the main reasons people use credit cards. 70% of customers prefer to make purchases using a card rather than cash.

What percent of Americans use PayPal? ›

Over half (58%) of Americans in our Future of Money study report being current users of PayPal.

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