As the holiday shopping season gets underway, consumers looking to forego credit cards as their preferred payment method have another “card” up their sleeves.
EBillme, an alternative payment service, allows online payments to be made directly from your checking account. While that’s already possible using both debit cards and the online payment service PayPal, eBillme distinguishes itself by providing many of the benefits normally seen only in credit cards, including buyer protection and up to 5% cash back for select retailers.
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That’s good news for the growing number of consumers who are accustomed to credit card perks but want to wean themselves off the burdensome debt that often comes along with plastic.
“In the past 10 years we’ve lived in a society fueled by competitive consumption and cheap credit, but that’s changed because of the economy,” says eBillme CEO Marwan Forzley. “The mentality that people have is shifting, big time.”
The numbers back up Forzley’s claim: Credit card debt has been falling steadily for the past two years and an increasing number of shoppers are planning to use cash instead of credit this holiday season. With 5% of shoppers still trying to pay down the credit card debt they amassed last Christmas, it’s not hard to see why some are trying to reduce their reliance on credit.
Still, credit cards have their benefits. Besides providing the ability to purchase an item now and spread out payments over several months, there are also many credit cards that offer cash back benefits and other rewards. Not only do credit-averse consumers miss out on these benefits, there’s evidence that cash-only households actually indirectly subsidize the awards enjoyed by credit card users. EBillme lets consumers with a “get the purchase out of the way” mindset (Forzley’s words) snag some of these benefits.