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A Model of the Card Payment System and the Interchange Fee

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  • Paul De Grauwe
  • Laura Rinaldi

Abstract

We analyse a card payment system to assess the economic impact of the interchange fee. This fee is paid by the bank of the merchant, the acquirer, to the bank of the consumer, the issuer. We build up a mode in order to explore whether the interchange fee can enhance the participation to the system and thus increase the benefits of the system as a whole. We also investigate what kind of incentives the interchange fee provides to the actors of the system. We show that the interchange fee selected by the card associations differs from the one that would be selected by a welfare maximising social planner. Moreover the interchange fee selected by the market is likely to produce a smaller market for cards than the socially optimal one.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-10/cesifo_wp796.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 796.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_796

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  1. Bouckaert, J.M.C. & Degryse, H.A., 1998. "Price competition between an expert and a non-expert," Discussion Paper 1998-49, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Baxter, William F, 1983. "Bank Interchange of Transactional Paper: Legal and Economic Perspectives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 541-88, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Evans, David & Schmalensee, Richard, 2005. "The Economics of Interchange Fees and Their Regulation: An Overview," Working papers 18181, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Kari Kemppainen, 2004. "Competition and regulation in European retail payment systems," Microeconomics 0404008, EconWPA.

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