Fees, fraud and regulation: force of change in the payment card industry
This article summarizes analysis from three recent Economic Review articles on how changes to card payment technology and debit card regulation will affect the U.S. retail payments system in years to come.
Interchange fees and network rules: a shift from antitrust litigation to regulatory measures in various countries
This article summarizes the global trends in public authority involvement in payment card pricing and rules, examines reasons for the shift to regulatory measures, and considers potential implications for the United States.
Technology adoption and consumer payments : evidence from survey data
Consumers pay for hundreds of goods and services each year, but across households and across goods, consumers do not choose to pay the same way. This paper posits that these differences depend in part on consumers' propensity to adopt new technologies, and depend in part on the nature of the transaction. In order to test these hypotheses, this paper offers comparisons of payment instrument use at the point of sale and for bill payment from a sample of consumers surveyed in 2001, drawn primarily from users of the Internet. The results indicate that consumers who use technology or computers are ...
Discounts and surcharges: implications for consumer payment choice
This article reviews the current landscape for payment discounts and surcharges, considers whether they influence consumer payment choice, and offers several policy responses.
Faster Payments : Market Structure and Policy Considerations
The U.S. payments industry is in the process of developing ubiquitous, safe, faster electronic solutions for making a broad variety of business and personal payments. How this market for faster payments will evolve will be shaped by a range of economic forces, such as economies of scale and scope, network effects, switching costs, and product differentiation. Emerging technologies could alter these forces and lead to new organizational arrangements or market structures that are different from those in legacy payment markets to date. In light of this uncertainty, this paper examines three ...
Delivering Benefits of Faster Payments to the Underserved
This first article examines the implications of faster payments for cash-flow-constrained consumers.
Effects of credit scores on consumer payment choice
Anecdotally, a negative relationship between the use of debit cards and credit scores has been reported: Consumers with lower credit scores use debit cards more intensively than those with higher credit scores. However, it is not clear whether credit scores have real effects on consumer payment choice or whether the negative relationship is caused by other factors, such as education or income. ; If credit scores have real effects, a negative relationship between debit card use and credit scores could imply supply-side effects, demand-side effects, or a combination of both. If credit scores ...
Product innovation and network survival in the U.S. ATM and debit card network industry
This paper studies product innovation and firm survival in the U.S. ATM/debit card industry. The industry started with a few shared ATM networks in the early 1970s. The number of networks grew quickly up until the mid 1980s, but then declined sharply. We construct a theoretical model based on Jovanovic and MacDonald (1994). In contrast to their model focusing on cost-saving technological innovation, our model shows a major product innovation may also trigger the shakeout. The theoretical predictions are tested using a novel dataset on network entry, exit, size, location, ownership and product ...
The economics of payment card fee structure: policy considerations of payment card rewards
This paper considers possible public policies that could improve efficiency and welfare distribution in the U.S. retail payments industry. Mainly, four options, i) encouraging competition; ii) allowing merchants to surcharge; iii) regulating merchant fees; and iv) regulating payment card rewards, are discussed, but each option has advantages and disadvantages. Any single option may not achieve the policymakers' objective; rather, combining several policy options may be required. ; Also issued as a Payments System Research Working Paper.
The economics of payment card fee structure: what drives payment card rewards?
This paper investigates potential market forces that cause payment card rewards even when providing payment card rewards is not the most efficient. Three factors-oligopolistic merchants, output-maximizing card networks, and the merchant's inability to set different prices across payment methods-may potentially explain the prevalence of payment card rewards programs in the United States today. The paper also points out that competition among card networks may potentially make payment rewards too generous, and thus deteriorate social welfare and its distribution. The situation may potentially ...