SAN FRANCISCO (

TheStreet

) -- Consumers continued to tighten their belts in the summer months, spending less overall, according to

Visa

(V) - Get Report

but the company did see a spike in the use of

debit cards

, a trend that kept its overall transaction numbers on the rise.

The electronic payments network disclosed in a

Securities and Exchange Commission

filing on Monday that U.S.-based total payments volume --the dollar amount put on Visa-branded credit and debit cards -- fell 1% in August from the year-earlier period. The performance represented a slight improvement from July, when payments volume fell 2% from last year.

The latest numbers showed consumers were increasingly reluctant to increase their debt load as credit card volume fell 10% in August. Conversely, payments on debit cards surged 7% on a year-over-year basis for the month. Those figures continued trends seen in July when credit card volume declined 9% while debit card payments rose 4 percent.

Cross border payments volume, or the use of cards across countries, fell 7% vs. the prior year period, on a constant dollar basis, Visa said. In the July month, cross border payments volume fell 6%.

The company has been relying heavily on processed transactions - or rather the number of times a card is swiped to be used via its network. During August, processed transactions rose 9% from levels in the year-ago equivalent period. This increase follows a jump of 8% in the number of processed transactions in July. When the company issued its third-quarter results on July 29, it reported total processed transactions of 10.3 billion for the three months ended June 30, an 8% increase over the prior year's third quarter.

Visa CEO Joe Saunders is scheduled to make an investor presentation at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference in New York City on Wednesday.

MasterCard

(MA) - Get Report

CFO Martina Hund-Mejean presents at the conference on Tuesday morning.

Visa shares hit a 52-week high of $72.50 on heavy trading volume during Friday's session. The stock is up more than 70% since scraping a 52-week low of $41.78 in January.

Shares were rising modestly in midday action on Monday.

--

Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.