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Author:Herbst-Murphy, Susan 

Discussion Paper
Millennials with money: a new look at who uses GPR prepaid cards
Phoenix Marketing International is a top 40 Honomichl market research company that annually fields an omnibus financial services survey that collects information from a representative sample of American households. Beginning in 2012, the survey added a series of questions designed to gather data on ownership and use of general-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards. This paper reports on those findings, including the discovery of a "power user" segment of the market composed of young and mid- to upper-income consumers who own and use GPR cards at rates well above the market average. Younger adults also appear to be combining both mainstream and alternative financial services in ways that complicate some attempts to classify consumers as "banked" or "underbanked."
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan; Weed, Greg
DATE: 2014-09-01

Discussion Paper
Credit Card Landscape Update
This recap of a January 2017 Payment Cards Center workshop conducted by Frank Martien of First Annapolis Consulting, Inc. (since acquired by and now part of Accenture) adds to the literature on conditions in the markets for consumer and commercial credit cards, and credit and debit cards use by small businesses, at a point some years after the 2007?2009 recession. Some insights are provided as to how the supply and demand sides for these products are operating after this major economic disruption and the enactment of two pieces of legislation affecting payment cards. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act) and the Durbin Amendment, which went into effect in 2010 and 2011, respectively, had implications for the market for payment cards used by consumers and small businesses. Commercial cards used by corporations and government were not affected by these regulations, but there have still been major developments in that product line. Readers will get a glimpse of some of the innovations occurring in commercial cards.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2018-01-09

Discussion Paper
Improving experience in the prepaid card industry: a customer service workshop
Contact Solutions LLC provides third-party contact center support for a number of government-sponsored prepaid card programs, including U.S. Treasury?s Direct Express. One of the explicit objectives of these programs is to link previously unbanked individuals with access to electronic banking services. With little prior experience as banking consumers, these individuals exhibit usage and behavior patterns, including their consumption of customer service, that differ from those of customers more familiar with financial services. This has presented some new challenges for contact centers. Contact Solutions executives facilitated a Payment Cards Center workshop during which they described some of these challenges and discussed how contact centers are responding.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2014-05-01

Discussion Paper
Future Potential versus Past Performance: MPOWER Financing’s Innovation in Student Loan Underwriting
The Payment Cards Center hosted a February 2016 workshop featuring MPOWER Financing, a start-up public benefit corporation created to be a source of student loans for high-potential scholars who either do not qualify for federal aid or who face a gap between federal aid maximums and the full cost of their educations. MPOWER has taken a unique approach to loan underwriting that is based on future potential rather than past credit experience and has developed a scoring model that helps predict loan repayment for young adults who have yet to establish a credit history. This paper summarizes highlights from the MPOWER workshop.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2016-09-20

Discussion Paper
Government use of the payment card system: issuance, acceptance, and regulation
The U.S. General Services Administration?s SmartPay program is the world?s largest commercial card portfolio. Nearly every state uses payment cards to electronically distribute unemployment insurance, child support, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or other funds. Federal, state, and local governments, as well as universities and other public-sector organizations, accept payments made with debit, credit, and prepaid cards. Recognizing the significant use of the payment card system by state and federal agencies, the Payment Cards Center hosted a conference on July 11 and 12, 2011 to explore the reasons why the public sector has adopted payment card options, the benefits that have resulted, and the challenges that must be managed.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2012

Discussion Paper
Trends and preferences in consumer payments
For two decades, Visa Inc. has contracted with a market research firm to gather detailed information from U.S. consumers about the forms of payment they use when carrying out transactions at many types of merchants. This omnibus project, the Visa Payment Panel Study, has recorded the migration away from paper forms of payment to electronic and plastic payment methods, identified variation in preferred payment methods based on consumer demographics, and calculated a share of use for each payment type at the merchant category level. The Payment Cards Center invited Michael Marx, senior business leader, Visa Inc. Research Services, to conduct a workshop on findings from the Visa Payment Panel Study. This paper summarizes the information presented at that workshop, including indications from panel data about changes in payment behavior during the recent recession.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2010

Discussion Paper
Small business use of credit cards in the U.S. market
America?s small businesses have adopted credit cards as both a payment method and a borrowing vehicle. The segment also uses other payment card products, including debit, charge, and prepaid cards. The dollar volume of spending with cards designed for small businesses increased by 230 percent over the five-year period from 2003-2008. But the recession of 2007-2009 and contemporaneous changes in the regulatory environment had effects on both the supply to and demand of small businesses with respect to credit cards. To obtain an update on these issues, the Payment Cards Center hosted a workshop facilitated by Frank Martien, a partner with First Annapolis Consulting. During the workshop, Martien presented evidence of improved supply and demand conditions for small business credit cards. In addition to these positive post-recession observations, Martien described how the symmetry between a small firm?s accounts receivable cycle and the billing cycle for a credit card may help explain why credit card use is so attractive to this segment. This summary also discusses recent developments in the small business debit card market.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2012

Discussion Paper
Trends and preferences in consumer payments: updates from the visa payment panel study
Michael Marx, senior director, Visa Research Insights, conducted a workshop in 2009 at the Payment Cards Center (PCC) as the economy was emerging from a recession. At that time, it appeared that the recession had affected consumer payment preferences, especially those related to cash and credit cards. To get an update on consumers? use of the various payment methods, the PCC invited Marx to facilitate another workshop in 2014. More recent findings from the Visa Payment Panel Study reveal declines in cash use ? a return to the long-term trend ? and increases in credit card use, perhaps signaling some return of confidence among consumers. Check use continued its unbroken long-term decline, and debit card growth has slowed. Private label cards have also registered a steady decline in their share of spending volume for a number of years. Their revolving credit utility, however, remains consequential in financing consumer purchases.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2015-07-03

Discussion Paper
Millennials with money revisited: updates from the 2014 Consumer Payments Monitor
Overall growth in general purpose reloadable prepaid card ownership was not as robust between 2013 and 2014 as it was between 2012 and 2013 except in one notable segment: high-income Millennials. This same demographic group also exhibited a strong propensity to use alternative financial services along with traditional bank products. This paper further explores this group of ?hybrid? financial services consumers. It also examines the broader use of financial services by young adults and reports on ways in which their choices differ from those of older consumers, along with evidence that conventional services are also used to the same ? in some cases, even greater ? degree as their parents? and grandparents? generations. The findings are sometimes counterintuitive, particularly with regard to some stereotypes about this young generation that have been put forth. Because of the size of this cohort, their behaviors could influence what the future of financial services consumption and delivery may look like.
AUTHORS: Weed, Greg; Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2015-12-22

Discussion Paper
Maintaining a safe environment for payment cards: Examining evolving threats posed by fraud
On April 23 and 24, 2008, the Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Electronic Funds Transfer Association jointly hosted "Maintaining a Safe Environment for Payment Cards: Examining Evolving Threats Posed by Fraud." The conference included panels representing four key constituencies: issuers, consumers, merchants/acquirers, and networks. The panelists addressed the nature of payment card fraud in the 21st century. This paper summarizes the highlights from the presentations and the discussions that ensued.
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan
DATE: 2009

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