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Keywords:Payment systems 

Report
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 ...
Research Data Report , Paper 13-1

Journal Article
Effect of consumer characteristics on the use of payment instruments

Predictions about a cashless and checkless society have been made for many years, but retail payments transactions made with electronic payment instruments still constitute only a small fraction of all payments made in the United States. This is the case despite differences in cost and despite marketing and educational campaigns conducted by the Federal Reserve and other institutions. One of the reasons the cost differences have little effect is that the differences in cost among payment instruments typically are not evident to consumers, who are charged the same amount regardless of how they ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Q 3 , Pages 19-31

Discussion Paper
Alternative measures of the Federal Reserve banks' cost of equity capital

The Monetary Control Act of 1980 requires the Federal Reserve System to provide payment services to depository institutions through the twelve Federal Reserve Banks at prices that fully reflect the costs a private-sector provider would incur, including a cost of equity capital (COE). Although Fama and French (1997) conclude that COE estimates are ?woefully? and ?unavoidably? imprecise, the Reserve Banks require such an estimate every year. We examine several COE estimates based on the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and compare them using econometric and materiality criteria. Our results ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 05-2

Discussion Paper
The Boston Fed study of consumer behavior and payment choice: a survey of Federal Reserve System employees

The way people pay for goods and services is changing dramatically, but little data and research on consumer behavior and payment choice are publicly available. This paper describes the results of a survey of payment behavior and attitudes taken by Federal Reserve employees in 2004. Major contributions of the survey are that it asks: 1) why payment choices are made; 2) why individual payment behavior has changed; and 3) why individual-specific payment characteristics matter for payment choice. Although the survey is not statistically representative of U.S. consumers, and thus may not provide ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 07-1

Discussion Paper
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 ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 12-9

Discussion Paper
Consumer behavior and payment choice : 2006 conference summary

This paper summarizes the proceedings of the second Consumer Behavior and Payment Choice conference, held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on July 25?27, 2006. These conferences are unique in featuring the collaboration of two groups of payments experts ? the private-sector payments industry on the one hand, and the academic, research, and policymaking communities on the other ? to stimulate more research and understanding of consumer payment behavior. The central focus of this second conference was learning more about the numerous consumer payments data sources that are available ? but ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 07-4

Discussion Paper
Consumer behavior and payment choice: a conference summary

The Emerging Payments Research Group (EPRG) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston sponsored a new conference, ?Consumer Behavior and Payment Choice: How and Why Do Consumers Choose Their Payment Methods?? on October 27?28, 2005, at the Boston Fed. The conference brought together a diverse set of participants from the academic, private, and public sectors. This paper provides a summary and overview of the conference. Key conclusions are that the consumer?s decision-making process concerning payment choice is quite complex, that standard economic models have difficulty incorporating this ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 06-1

Discussion Paper
The 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice

This paper presents the 2008 version of the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC), a nationally representative survey developed by the Consumer Payments Research Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and implemented by the RAND Corporation with its American Life Panel. The survey fills a gap in knowledge about the role of consumers in the transformation of payments from paper to electronic by providing a broad-based assessment of U.S. consumers' adoption and use of nine payment instruments, including cash. The average consumer has 5.1 of the nine instruments, and uses 4.2 in a ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 09-10

Discussion Paper
Summary of the workshop on Consumer Behavior and Payment Choice

This paper summarizes and outlines some interesting issues that arose during a recent workshop on Consumer Behavior and Payment Choice, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston?s Emerging Payments Research Group (EPRG) on July 25, 2008. Topics addressed are the consumer adoption of new payment technologies, credit card debt management, payment card surcharges, and involuntary bank account closures.
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 08-5

Discussion Paper
Adopting, using, and discarding paper and electronic payment instruments: variation by age and race

This paper uses data from the 2008 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice to discuss the adoption, use, and discarding of various common payment instruments. Using a nationally representative sample of individual-level data, it presents evidence in unparalleled detail about how consumers use different payment instruments. Most interestingly, it displays robust evidence of significant age- and race-related differences in payments choices. Among other things, it suggests that the range of payment instruments adopted and regularly used by blacks is narrower than that chosen by whites, presumably ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 11-2

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