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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City  Series:Payments System Research Working Paper 

Working Paper
A puzzle of card payment pricing : why are merchants still accepting card payments?

This paper presents models that explain why merchants accept payment cards even when the fees they face exceed the transactional benefits they receive from a card transaction. Such merchant behaviors can be explained by competition among merchants and/or the effectiveness of the merchant?s card acceptance in shifting cardholders? demand for goods upward. The prevalent assumption used in payment card literature?merchants accept cards only when their transactional benefits are higher than the fees they pay?holds only for a monopoly merchant who faces an inelastic consumer demand. A card network ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 04-02

Working Paper
Pricing and welfare implications of payment card network competition

This paper examines how competition among payment card networks three-party scheme networks and four-party scheme networks affects pricing as well as the welfare of various parties. A competing network has an incentive to provide rewards to its card users. By providing more generous rewards than its rival networks, the network can increase its own card transactions because multihoming cardholders who hold multiple networks cards choose to use its card instead of using its rivals. Although a monopoly network does not have such an incentive, in a monopoly four-party scheme network, competition ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 06-03

Working Paper
Nonbanks and risk in retail payments

This paper documents the importance of nonbanks in retail payments in the United States and in 15 European countries and analyzes the implications of the importance and multiple roles played by nonbanks on retail payment risks. This paper also reviews the main regulatory safeguards in place, and concludes that there may be a need to reconsider some of them in view of the growing role of nonbanks and of the global reach of risks in the electronic era.
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 07-02

Working Paper
Nonbanks in the payments system: European and U.S. perspectives

This paper presents the initial results of a joint study undertaken by staff at the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to document and analyze nonbanks in the payments system. The focus is on electronic (non-paper) retail payment services in the European Union and the United States. The results show that nonbanks are making their presence felt at all stages of the payments chain. And, at this time, nonbanks appear most prominent in the United States, but are prominent in many European countries as well. And, most importantly, nonbank presence appears to be ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 07-01

Working Paper
Network competition and merchant discount fees

Pricing in two-sided markets has not been fully understood yet. Especially, investigations of how competition in these markets affects the price structure or levels are still underway. This paper takes the payment card industry as an example of two-sided markets and examines whether two networks? competition lowers one of the prices in the industry, merchant discount fees, and if it does, how much it lowers equilibrium merchant fees compared with the fee set by a monopoly network. If some cardholders hold only one card and the other cardholders hold two different cards, whether network ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 05-04

Working Paper
Technological innovation and market turbulence: the dot-com experience

This paper explains market turbulence, such as the recent dotcom boom/bust cycle, as equilibrium industry dynamics triggered by technology innovation. When a major technology innovation arrives, a wave of new firms enter the market implementing the innovation for profits. However, if the innovation complements existing technology, some new entrants will later be forced out as more and more incumbent firms succeed in adopting the innovation. It is shown that the diffusion of Internet technology among traditional brick-and-mortar firms is indeed the driving force behind the rise and fall of ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 05-02

Working Paper
Financial innovation, strategic real options and endogenous competition : theory and an application to Internet banking

Innovations in financial services continuously influence the scope of financial intermediation and the nature of competition between intermediaries. This paper examines the optimal exercise of strategic real options to invest in such an innovation, Internet banking technology, within a two-stage game, parameterized by the distribution of bank size and uncertainty over the profitability of investment, and empirically tests the results on a novel data set. Unlike traditional options, in which the distribution of the future value of the underlying asset is exogenous and the timing of exercise ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 03-01

Working Paper
Payment card rewards programs and consumer payment choice

Card payments have been growing very rapidly. To continue the growth, payment card networks keep adding new merchants and card issuers try to stimulate their existing customers? card usage by providing rewards. This paper seeks to analyze the effects of payment card rewards programs on consumer payment choice, by using consumer survey data. Specifically, we examine whether credit/debit reward receivers use credit/debit cards relatively more often than other consumers, if so how much more often, and which payment methods are replaced by reward card payments. Our results suggest that (i) ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 06-02

Working Paper
Community bank access to payment card networks : has it become more expensive?

The payment industry is undergoing significant change. Consolidations among payment networks and processors have been seen in every payment service area and technological advances provide incentives for even larger financial institutions to outsource their transaction processing. As a result, a smaller number of networks or processors are competing more vigorously for larger financial institutions. In doing so, volume-based pricing or volume discounts are commonly practiced in the industry. This paper examines whether the change in fee structure of networks and processors make community ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 03-02

Working Paper
Competition and credit and debit card interchange fees: a cross-country analysis

This paper seeks to provide a bridge between the theoretical and empirical literatures on interchange fees. Specifically, the paper confronts theory with practice by asking, to what extent do existing models of interchange fees match up with actual interchange fee practices in various countries? For each of four countries?Australia, the Netherlands, the UK, and the United States?models that ?best? fit the competitive and institutional features of that country?s payment card market are identified, and the implications of those model are compared to actual practices. Along what competitive ...
Payments System Research Working Paper , Paper PSR WP 05-03

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