How Consumers Get Cash: Evidence from a Diary Survey
Most research on payment instruments focuses on how consumers pay or spend their money using a wide variety of payment instruments including cash. This report focuses on the inverse of the question of spending, that is, how do consumers obtain cash? Data from the 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice shows that, over a three-day period, about 21 percent of survey respondents get cash via various methods, such as getting cash from a family member or friend, using an ATM, getting cash back at retail, visiting a bank teller, etc. We find that consumers mostly get cash from family and friends, ...
Consumer Use of Multiple Payment Methods
The paper investigates the degree to which buyers choose to diversify their use of payment methods for in-person purchases. Some buyers use only one payment instrument. Others combine the use of mostly cash, credit, debit cards, and a few paper checks and prepaid cards. To each survey respondent, I apply three concentration measures over the use of payment instruments. Results show that the degree of consumers' payment concentration exhibits almost no correlation with consumer demographics, payment volume, or aggregate value.
Real estate brokers and commission: theory and calibrations
The author constructs a theoretical model to examine the effects of an inherent conflict of interest between a seller of a house and the real estate broker hired by the seller. The model is then used to calibrate the broker's commission rates that would maximize the seller's expected gain. The findings suggest that while the pressure brokers exert on sellers to reduce prices generates faster sales and hence improves social welfare, the usual commission rate of 6 percent exceeds the seller's value-maximizing rate if the sale is handled by a single agent. On the other hand, if several agents ...
Alternative Methods for Studying Consumer Payment Choice
Using machine learning techniques applied to consumer diary survey data, the author of this working paper examines methods for studying consumer payment choice. These techniques, especially when paired with regression analyses, provide useful information for understanding and predicting the payment choices consumers make.
Costs and benefits of building faster payment systems: the U.K. experience and implications for the United States
This paper studies the economic cost-benefit analysis behind the decision by the United Kingdom on how to implement its Faster Payments Service (FPS), which allows consumers and businesses to rapidly transfer money between bank accounts, and draws implications for the U.S. payments system.
Limited Deposit Insurance Coverage and Bank Competition
Deposit insurance designs in many countries place a limit on the coverage of deposits in each bank. However, no limits are placed on the number of accounts held with different banks. Therefore, under limited deposit insurance, some consumers open accounts with different banks to achieve higher or full deposit insurance coverage. We compare three regimes of deposit insurance: No deposit insurance, unlimited deposit insurance, and limited deposit insurance. We show that limited deposit insurance weakens competition among banks and reduces total welfare relative to no or unlimited deposit ...
Person-to-person electronic funds transfers: recent developments and policy issues
The paper investigates the reasons why person-to-person electronic funds transfers are still not very common in the United States compared with practices in many other countries. The paper also describes recent enhancements to online and mobile banking that provide account holders with low-cost interfaces to manage person-to-person electronic funds transfers via automated clearing house (ACH). On the theoretical side, the paper characterizes the critical mass levels needed for payment instruments to become widely adopted. Given the Fed's long-term heavy involvement in check clearing, the ...
Limited Deposit Insurance Coverage and Bank Competition
Deposit insurance schemes in many countries place a limit on the coverage of deposits in each bank. However, no limits are placed on the number of accounts held with different banks. Therefore, under limited deposit insurance, some consumers open accounts with different banks to achieve higher or full deposit insurance coverage. We compare three regimes of deposit insurance: No deposit insurance, unlimited deposit insurance, and limited deposit insurance. We show that limited deposit insurance weakens competition among banks and reduces total welfare relative to no or unlimited deposit ...
Merchant steering of consumer payment choice: lessons learned from consumer surveys
Recent policy changes allow merchants to influence consumers? choice of payment instruments by offering price discounts and other incentives. This report describes lessons learned from using consumer survey responses to assess whether merchants tried to influence buyers? choice of payment method. To measure the effects of these recent policy changes, we included questions about merchant steering in pilot versions of a new diary survey of U.S. consumers. Our findings are inconclusive because some respondents interpreted the questions differently from the way we intended. This report aims to ...
Merchant steering of consumer payment choice: evidence from a 2012 Diary survey
This paper seeks to discover whether U.S. merchants are using their recently granted freedom to offer price discounts and other incentives to steer customers to pay with methods that are less costly to merchants. Using evidence of merchant steering based on the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, we find that only a very small fraction of transactions received a cash or debit card discount, and even fewer were subjected to a credit card surcharge. Transactions at gasoline stations were more likely to receive either cash discounts or credit card surcharges than transactions in other ...