Why has stored value not caught on?
Why have general-purpose stored-value cards been unsuccessful in penetrating the U.S. market? Three necessary conditions for a payment instrument to be successful are discussed: consumers and merchants need to be convinced of its advantages over existing payment alternatives for at least some types of transactions; payment providers must convince consumers and merchants simultaneously of its benefits to achieve critical mass; and assure them that adequate safety and security measures have been implemented. This article discusses the credit card industry's success in meeting these necessary ...
Why do banks reward their customers to use their credit cards?
Using a unique administrative level dataset from a large and diverse U.S. financial institution, we test the impact of rewards on credit card spending and debt. Specifically, we study the impact of cash-back rewards on individuals before and during their enrollment in the program. We find that with an average cash-back reward of $25, spending and debt increases by $79 and $191 a month, respectively during the first quarter. Furthermore, we find that cardholders who do not use their card prior to the cash-back program increase their spending and debt more than cardholders with debt prior to ...
Forces shaping the payments environment: a summary of the Chicago Fed’s 2005 Payments Conference
Three main forces?innovations, incentives, and regulation?have affected the migration to more efficient payment mechanisms. Though several payment alternatives have been introduced recently, many have not been widely adopted. The Chicago Fed held a conference to explore why certain payment innovations have been more successful than others.
Innovations, incentives, and regulation: forces shaping the payments environment
The migration to more efficient payment mechanisms is affected by innovations, incentives, and regulation. While advances in technology have yielded numerous payment method alternatives, many have not been widely adopted. A recent Chicago Fed conference explored why certain payment innovations have been more successful than others.
Debit card and cash usage: a cross-country analysis
During the last decade, debit card transactions grew rapidly in most advanced countries. While check usage declined and has almost disappeared in some countries, the stock of currency in circulation has not declined as fast. We use panel estimation techniques to analyze the change in transactional demand for cash resulting from greater usage of debit cards in 13 countries from 1988 to 2003. We are able to disentangle cash?s store of value function from its payment function by separating cash into three denomination categories. We find that the demand for low denomination notes and coins ...
Payments-related intraday credit differentials and the emergence of a vehicle currency
The U.S. dollar serves as a vehicle currency or medium of exchange in the global foreign exchange markets. After reviewing some of the existing theories on vehicle currencies, the hypothesis put forth is that the dollar's role is linked to the relatively low cost of payments-related intraday credit available to payment system participants. Differences in the types of measures used by payment system operators to reduce settlement and systemic risk in the payment system give rise to liquidity differentials between currencies. ; After reviewing the types of intraday credit facilities extended to ...
Consumer choice and merchant acceptance of payment media
We study the ability of banks and merchants to influence the consumer's payment instrument choice. Consumers participate in payment card networks to insure themselves against three types of shocks -- income, theft, and their merchant match. Merchants choose which payment instruments to accept based on their production costs and increased profit opportunities. Our key results can be summarized as follows. The structure of prices is determined by the level of the bank's cost to provide payment services including the level of aggregate credit loss, the probability of theft, and the timing of ...
Regulating two-sided markets: an empirical investigation
We study the effect of government encouraged or mandated interchange fee ceilings on consumer and merchant adoption and usage of payment cards in an economy where card acceptance is far from complete. We believe that we are the first to use bank- level data to study the impact of interchange fee regulation. We find that consumer and merchant welfare improved because of increased consumer and merchant adoption leading to greater usage of payment cards. We also find that bank revenues increased when interchange fees were reduced although these results are critically dependent on merchant ...
Payment instrument choice: the case of prepaid cards
The costs and benefits to payment system participants can differ depending on which payment mechanism is used. The authors specifically explore the costs and benefits of prepaid card applications versus other payment instruments, such as cash, checks, and debit cards, for certain payment segments, including gift, payroll, and employer-initiated and government benefit programs.
The double play: simultaneous speculative attacks on currency and equity markets
This paper investigates the potential for foreign speculators to profit from simultaneously taking short positions in foreign exchange and equity markets under a fixed exchange rate regime, in what has been termed as the double play. Such a strategy is considered when the monetary authority is faced with two conflicting objectives exchange rate stability and low interest rates. While the monetary authority may not be able to directly intervene to stabilize interest rates under the fixed exchange rate regime, it may consider intervention in equity markets to head off speculative pressure on ...