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Choosing and using payment instruments: evidence from German microdata

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  • Von Kalckreuth, Ulf
  • Schmidt, Tobias
  • Stix, Helmut

Abstract

Germans are still very fond of using cash. Of all direct payment transactions, cash accounts for an astounding 82% in terms of number, and for 58% in terms of value. With a new and unique dataset that combines transaction information with survey data on payment behaviour of German consumers, we shed light on how individuals choose payment instruments and why cash remains so important. We propose a two-stage empirical framework which jointly explains credit card ownership and the use of cash. Our results indicate that the pattern of cash usage is compatible with systematic economic decision making. Consumers decide upon the adoption of payment cards and then use available payment media according to their transaction and personal characteristics, the relative costs of cash and card usage, and their assessment of payment instruments’ characteristics. Whereas older consumers use significantly more cash, the comparison with younger consumers shows that the difference in payment behaviour is not explained by age as such but to a large extent by differences in the characteristics of these two groups. It is interesting that the possession of a credit card, especially alongside a debit card, does not significantly affect the use of cash in Germany. JEL Classification: E41, E58, D12

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1144.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20091144

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Keywords: cash substitution; cash usage; credit cards; debit cards; payment behaviour; payment cards; payment innovation; Payment instruments; survey data;

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Cited by:
  1. Guerino Ardizzi & Eleonora Iachini, 2013. "Why are payment habits so heterogeneous across and within countries? Evidence from European countries and Italian regions," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 144, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Yassine Bouhdaoui & David Bounie, 2012. "Modeling the Share of Cash Payments in the Economy: An Application to France," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(4), pages 175-195, December.
  3. Eschelbach, Martina & Schmidt, Tobias, 2013. "Precautionary motives in short-term cash management: Evidence from German POS transactions," Discussion Papers 38/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse & Lola Hernández, 2012. "Cash usage in the Netherlands: How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants?," DNB Occasional Studies 1002, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  5. Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse, 2013. "Estimating Cash Usage: The Impact of Survey Design on Research Outcomes," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 19-44, March.
  6. Kosse, Anneke & Jansen, David-Jan, 2013. "Choosing how to pay: The influence of foreign backgrounds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 989-998.
  7. Anneke Kosse & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Choosing how to pay: the influence of home country habits," DNB Working Papers 328, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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