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Debit and credit card usage and satisfaction: Who uses which and why – evidence from Austria

Thomas Foscht (Department of Marketing, University of Graz, Universitaetsstrasse, Graz, Austria)
Cesar Maloles III (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, California State University, Hayward, California, USA)
Bernhard Swoboda (Department of Marketing and Retailing, University of Trier, Trier, Germany)
Swee‐Lim Chia (La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 2 March 2010



This exploratory study seeks to explore the link between the choices of payment mode to customer satisfaction. It examines the Austrian market in relation to its choice and usage of debit cards versus credit cards and its impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, the study aims to identify the key drivers of customer satisfaction for these two modes of electronic payment.


A structured questionnaire was administered in person to 360 Austrian bank customers. These customers were selected using quota sampling based on Austrian census data for a particular Austrian province. However, while the quota sampling was used to determine the categories, selection of the actual respondents was done through systematic sampling. This ensured that the sample was representative of the population of that Austrian province who had credit and debit cards. One group, women who were 65 and older, were not considered as there were relatively few women in this age range who had debit and credit cards.


Five hypotheses were proposed. Four of the five hypotheses were supported while one, H4, had partial support. Essentially, the results indicate that a person's preference for a particular payment method is dependent on his/her personal characteristics. Additionally, the payment method's features and characteristics influenced its desirability and acceptance. Furthermore, a person's expectations had an impact on his/her attitude toward the payment method. The study also found that positive expectations, performance, and desires led to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction, in turn, leads to a higher degree of intent to use the payment method and higher degree of intent to recommend the payment method. These results are consistent with the literature on customer satisfaction that identifies expectations, performance and desires as the drivers of customer satisfaction.


Multiple payment modes have emerged but there has been scant attention paid to the effects of payment modes on customer behavior and by extension, customer satisfaction and loyalty. This paper addresses these issues.



Foscht, T., Maloles, C., Swoboda, B. and Chia, S. (2010), "Debit and credit card usage and satisfaction: Who uses which and why – evidence from Austria", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 150-165.



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