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How consumers pay: adoption and use of payments

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  • Scott Schuh
  • Joanna Stavins
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    Abstract

    Using data from a nationally representative survey on consumer payment behavior, we estimate Heckman two-stage regressions on the adoption and use of seven different payment instruments. We find that the characteristics of payments are important in determining consumer payment behavior, even when controlling for demographic and financial attributes: setup and record keeping are especially important in explaining adoption, while security is important in explaining which methods consumers use for transactions. For the first time, we estimate the number of payment methods adopted by consumers conditional on having access to a bank account, as the unbanked consumers' payment choices are much more limited than those of consumers with bank accounts. This paper follows the analysis in Schuh and Stavins (2010), but with improved data, allowing us to estimate a better model of payment behavior. As in the previous study, cost is found to significantly affect payment use, indicating that the recent increase in the cost of debit cards issued by some banks may lead to a reduction in U.S. consumers' reliance on debit cards for transactions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 12-2.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:12-2

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    Keywords: Payment systems;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Carlos Arango & Varya Taylor, 2009. "The Role of Convenience and Risk in Consumers' Means of Payment," Discussion Papers 09-8, Bank of Canada.
    2. Ron Borzekowski & Elizabeth K. Kiser, 2006. "The choice at the checkout: quantifying demand across payment instruments," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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