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Economics of Payment Cards: A Status Report

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  • Wilko Bolt
  • Sujit Chakravorti

Abstract

In this article, we survey the recent theoretical literature on payment cards and study their implications for public policy. Payment card networks have faced regulatory scrutiny in several countries regarding the setting of various fees including interchange fees � fees paid by the merchant's financial institution to the cardholder's financial institution. In addition, other common payment practices such as no-surcharge rules have also been challenged in several jurisdictions. Unlike other types of markets, card payment services are network goods where two distinct end-users (i.e. consumers and merchants) must participate for the good to be consumed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 193.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:193

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Keywords: retail financial services; payment card networks; pricing; competition;

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References

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  1. Sujit Chakravorti & William R. Emmons, 2001. "Who pays for credit cards?," Occasional Paper; Emerging Payments EPS-2001-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Consumer choice and merchant acceptance of payment media," Working Paper Series WP-08-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:668-691 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Sujit Chakravorti & Victor Lubasi, 2006. "Payment instrument choice: the case of prepaid cards," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 29-43.
  5. Richard Schmalensee, 2001. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," NBER Working Papers 8256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stuart E. Weiner & Julian Wright, 2005. "Interchange fees in various countries: developments and determinants," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 05-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  7. Chakravorti Sujit & Roson Roberto, 2006. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets: The Case of Payment Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, March.
  8. Schwartz Marius & Vincent Daniel R., 2006. "The No Surcharge Rule and Card User Rebates: Vertical Control by a Payment Network," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, March.
  9. Wilko Bolt & Nicole Jonker & Corry van Renselaar, 2008. "Incentives at the counter: An empirical analysis of surcharging card payment and payment behaviour in the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 196, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  10. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. James McAndrews & Zhu Wang, 2006. "Microfoundations of two-sided markets: the payment card example," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 06-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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  13. JOHN M. Barron & MICHAEL E. Staten & JOHN Umbeck, 1992. "Discounts For Cash In Retail Gasoline Marketing," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 10(4), pages 89-102, October.
  14. Humphrey, David B & Kim, Moshe & Vale, Bent, 2001. "Realizing the Gains from Electronic Payments: Costs, Pricing, and Payment Choice," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 216-34, May.
  15. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Competing in Network Industries: Divide and Conquer," IDEI Working Papers 112, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jul 2001.
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  17. Wilko Bolt & David Humphrey, 2007. "Payment network scale economies, SEPA, and cash replacement," Working Papers 07-32, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  18. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2003. "Competing Payment Schemes," Departmental Working Papers wp0311, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
  19. Terri Bradford, 2008. "Developments in interchange fees in the United States and abroad," Payments System Research Briefing, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Apr.
  20. Julian Wright, 2001. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Industrial Organization 0108001, EconWPA.
  21. Zhu Wang, 2008. "Market structure and credit card pricing: what drives the interchange?," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 06-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  22. Wilko Bolt & David Humphrey & Roland Uittenbogaard, 2008. "Transaction Pricing and the Adoption of Electronic Payments: A Cross-Country Comparison," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(1), pages 89-123, March.
  23. Bolt, Wilko & Tieman, Alexander F., 2008. "Heavily skewed pricing in two-sided markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1250-1255, September.
  24. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P, 2003. "The Neutrality of Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  25. Humphrey, David & Willesson, Magnus & Bergendahl, Goran & Lindblom, Ted, 2006. "Benefits from a changing payment technology in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1631-1652, June.
  26. Hans Brits & Carlo Winder, 2005. "Payments are no free lunch," DNB Occasional Studies 302, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  27. Gene Amromin & Sujit Chakravorti, 2009. "Whither Loose Change? The Diminishing Demand for Small-Denomination Currency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 315-335, 03.
  28. Christine Beijnen & Wilko Bolt, 2008. "Size Matters: Economies of Scale in European Payment Processing," FIW Working Paper series 013, FIW.
  29. Rochet Jean-Charles, 2003. "The Theory of Interchange Fees: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-28, June.
  30. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oz Shy, 2010. "A short survey of network economics," Working Papers 10-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Wilko Bolt & Heiko Schmiedel, 2010. "SEPA, Efficiency, and Payment Card Competition," DNB Working Papers 239, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  3. Economides, Nicholas & Henriques, David, 2011. "To surcharge or not to surcharge? A two-sided market perspective of the no-surchage rule," Working Paper Series 1388, European Central Bank.
  4. Alexandrova-Kabadjova, Biliana & Negrín, José Luis, 2009. "What drives the network’s growth? An agent-based study of the payment card market," Working Paper Series 1143, European Central Bank.
  5. Jonker Nicole, 2011. "Card Acceptance and Surcharging: the Role of Costs and Competition," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, June.
  6. Biliana Alexandrova-Kabadjova & Sara Gabriela Castellanos Pascacio & Alma L. García-Almanza, 2012. "The Adoption Process of Payment Cards -An Agent- Based Approach," Working Papers 2012-02, Banco de México.
  7. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2011. "Pricing in Retail Payment Systems: A Public Policy Perspective on Pricing of Payment Cards," DNB Working Papers 331, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  8. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  9. Langlet, Markus, 2011. "Payment Card Network Pricing - A Theoretical Approach Analyzing the Relationship between Downstream Market Characteristics and the Merchant Usage Fee," EconStor Theses, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, number 44593.
  10. Fabio M. Manenti & Ernesto Somma, 2011. "Plastic Clashes: Competition Among Closed And Open Payment Systems," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(6), pages 1099-1125, December.
  11. Santiago Carbó Valverde & Sujit Chakravorti & Francisco Rodríguez-Fernández, 2009. "Regulating two-sided markets: an empirical investigation," Working Paper Series WP-09-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Biliana Alexandrova-Kabadjova & Sara G. Castellanos Pascacio & Sara G. Castellanos Pascacio & Alma L. Garcia-Almanza, 2012. "El proceso de adopcion de tarjetas de pago. Un enfoque basado en agentes," Working Papers 1214, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.

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