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How do you pay? The role of incentives at the point-of-sale

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  • Arango, Carlos
  • Huynh, Kim P.
  • Sabetti, Leonard

Abstract

This paper uses discrete-choice models to quantify the role of consumer socioeconomic characteristics, payment instrument attributes, and transaction features on the probability of using cash, debit card, or credit card at the point-of-sale. We use the Bank of Canada 2009 Method of Payment Survey, a two-part survey among adult Canadians containing a detailed questionnaire and a three-day shopping diary. We find that cash is still used intensively at low value transactions due to speed, merchant acceptance, and low costs. Debit and credit cards are used more frequently for higher transaction values where safety, record keeping, the ability to delay payment and credit card rewards gain prominence. We present estimates of the elasticity of using a credit card with respect to credit card rewards. Reward elasticities are a key element in understanding the impact of retail payment pricing regulation on consumer payment instrument usage and welfare. JEL Classification: E41, C35, C83

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1386.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111386

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Keywords: credit card rewards; discrete-choice models; Retail payments;

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References

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  1. Carbó Valverde Santiago & Massoud Nadia & Rodríguez-Fernández Francisco & Saunders Anthony & Scholnick Barry, 2007. "The Economics of Credit Cards, Debit Cards and ATMs: A Survey and Some New Evidence," Working Papers 201074, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  2. Irina A. Telyukova & Randall Wright, 2008. "A Model of Money and Credit, with Application to the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 629-647.
  3. Carlos Arango & Angelika Welte, 2012. "The Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey: Methodology and Key Results," Discussion Papers 12-6, Bank of Canada.
  4. Ron Borzekowski & K. Kiser Elizabeth & Ahmed Shaista, 2008. "Consumers' Use of Debit Cards: Patterns, Preferences, and Price Response," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(1), pages 149-172, 02.
  5. Oz Shy & Zhu Wang, 2011. "Why Do Payment Card Networks Charge Proportional Fees?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1575-90, June.
  6. Borzekowski, Ron & Kiser, Elizabeth K., 2008. "The choice at the checkout: Quantifying demand across payment instruments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 889-902, July.
  7. John Simon & Kylie Smith & Tim West, 2009. "Price Incentives and Consumer Payment Behaviour," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2009-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  8. von Kalckreuth, Ulf & Schmidt, Tobias & Stix, Helmut, 2011. "Using cash to monitor liquidity: Implications for payments, currency demand and withdrawal behavior," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,22, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  9. Sumit Agarwal & Sujit Chakravorti & Anna Lunn, 2010. "Why do banks reward their customers to use their credit cards?," Working Paper Series WP-2010-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Carlos Arango & Dylan Hogg & Alyssa Lee, 2012. "Why Is Cash (Still) So Entrenched? Insights from the Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey," Discussion Papers 12-2, Bank of Canada.
  11. Fumiko Hayashi & Stuart E. Wiener, 2006. "Interchange fees in Australia, the UK, and the United States : matching theory and practice," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 75-112.
  12. Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse, 2009. "The impact of survey design on research outcomes: A case study of seven pilots measuring cash usage in the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 221, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  13. Carlos Arango & Varya Taylor, 2009. "The Role of Convenience and Risk in Consumers' Means of Payment," Discussion Papers 09-8, Bank of Canada.
  14. Robin A. Prager & Mark D. Manuszak & Elizabeth K. Kiser & Ron Borzekowski, 2009. "Interchange fees and payment card networks: economics, industry developments, and policy issues," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sergei Koulayev & Marc Rysman & Scott Schuh & Joanna Stavins, 2012. "Explaining adoption and use of payment instruments by U. S. consumers," Working Papers 12-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Ben Fung & Kim Huynh & Leonard Sabetti, 2012. "The Impact of Retail Payment Innovations on Cash Usage," Working Papers 12-14, Bank of Canada.
  3. Tamás Briglevics & Oz Shy, 2012. "Why don’t most merchants use price discounts to steer consumer payment choice?," Public Policy Discussion Paper 12-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  4. Carlos Arango & Angelika Welte, 2012. "The Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey: Methodology and Key Results," Discussion Papers 12-6, Bank of Canada.
  5. 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.
  6. Carlos Arango & Dylan Hogg & Alyssa Lee, 2012. "Why Is Cash (Still) So Entrenched? Insights from the Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey," Discussion Papers 12-2, Bank of Canada.
  7. Michael Cohen & Marc Rysman, 2013. "Payment choice with consumer panel data," Working Papers 13-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  8. 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.
  9. Naoki Wakamori & Angelika Welte, 2012. "Why Do Shoppers Use Cash? Evidence from Shopping Diary Data," Working Papers 12-24, Bank of Canada.
  10. Michael Cohen & Marc Rysman, 2012. "Payment choice with consumer panel data," Working Papers 13, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.

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