BOSTON (3/17/08)--About one-third of cardholders would be open to decoupled debit cards, a recent survey indicated. The Aite Group, a Boston-based research firm, surveyed 500 U.S. consumers about trends in payment and loyalty. The survey found that although decoupled debit cards--cards issued by an entity other than the institution where a customer’s primary checking account resides--are relatively new, they have a large potential in the financial services market, the company said in a press release. Consumers interested in decoupled cards are “reward addicts,” or those who go out of their way to find rewards and participate in rewards programs regularly, the survey noted. But co-branded decoupled cards may not be the way to go, said Gwenn Bezard, research director at Aite and study co-author. “Program managers may want to focus on issuing decoupled debit cards on their own, or as part of a coalition marketing alliance with a large number of merchants,” she said.