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Why don’t most merchants use price discounts to steer consumer payment choice?
Recent legislation and court settlements in the United States allow merchants to use price discounts to steer customers to pay with means of payment that are less costly to merchants. This paper suggests one method of calculating merchants? change in profit associated with giving price discounts to buyers who pay with debit cards and cash. We use data from the pilot of the Boston Fed?s Diary of Consumer Payment Choice to compute rough estimates of the expected net cost reduction by merchant type that may result from debit card and cash price discounts. We find that steering consumers to debit ...
This is what's in your wallet... and here's how you use it
Models of money demand, in the Baumol (1952)-Tobin (1956) tradition, describe optimal cash management policy in terms of when and how much cash to withdraw, an (s, S) policy. However, today, a vast array of instruments can be used to make payments, opening additional ways to control cash holdings. This paper utilizes data from the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice to simultaneously analyze payment instrument choice and withdrawals. We use the insights in Rust (1987) to extend existing models of payment instrument choice into a dynamic setting to study cash management. Our estimates show ...
U.S. consumer demand for cash in the era of low interest rates and electronic payments
U.S. consumers' demand for cash is estimated with new panel micro data for 2008-2010 using econometric methodology similar to Mulligan and Sala-i-Martin (2000); Attanasio, Guiso, and Jappelli (2002); and Lippi and Secchi (2009). We extend the Baumol-Tobin model to allow for credit card payments and revolving debt, as in Sastry (1970). With interest rates near zero, cash demand by consumers using credit cards for convenience (without revolving debt) has the same small, negative, interest elasticity as estimated in earlier periods and with broader money measures. However, cash demand by ...