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Consumers have slowly been returning to using their credit cards more often in recent months, and the world's two largest processors of debit and credit card payments recently revealed that trend continued into February.

Visa and MasterCard, in separate announcements, announced that they had processed a greater number of transactions on a year-over-year basis in February, as consumers continued to use their credit cards more often to complete purchases, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires. Visa, the larger of the two global payment processors, said the number of credit transactions it processed in February rose 11 percent on a year-over-year basis, while debit purchases climbed 4 percent, creating an increase in card purchases of 6 percent overall. The company said it saw slower-than-expected debit increases in the fiscal first quarter of 2012 because of the way those transactions are processed under new federal laws.

Meanwhile, a similar trend was noticed at MasterCard, the second-largest payment processor in the world, the report said. The company saw the number of U.S. card transactions increase 26 percent in January and February combined, with the value of those purchases rising 14 percent.

Over the past several months, the number of credit transactions has slowly been increasing, as has the amount of debt carried from one month to the next by consumers. Experts say this is the result of the annual holiday shopping season temporarily changing consumers' borrowing tendencies, but others believe consumers are simply returning to their pre-recession habits that involved taking on a larger amount of debt overall. One area in which consumers seem to be keeping their conscientiousness, though, is making more on-time payments into their accounts, keeping rates of delinquency and default at historically low levels.