IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejmic/v5y2013i3p206-31.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Pricing Payment Cards

Author

Listed:
  • ?zlem Bedre-Defolie
  • Emilio Calvano

Abstract

Payment card networks, such as Visa, require merchants' banks to pay substantial "interchange" fees to cardholders' banks, on a per transaction basis. This paper shows that a network's profi t-maximizing fee induces an inefficient price structure, over-subsidizing card usage and over-taxing merchants. We show that this distortion is systematic and arises from the fact that consumers make two distinct decisions (membership and usage) whereas merchants make only one (membership). In general, we contribute to the theory of two-sided markets by introducing a model that distinguishes between extensive and intensive margins,thereby explaining why two-part tarif fs are useful pricing tools for platforms.

Suggested Citation

  • ?zlem Bedre-Defolie & Emilio Calvano, 2013. "Pricing Payment Cards," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 206-231, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:5:y:2013:i:3:p:206-31
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.5.3.206
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mic.5.3.206
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mic/app/2012-0058_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mic/ds/august2013/2012-0058_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    2. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, 2010. "Competitive Non-linear Pricing and Bundling," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 30-60.
    3. Weiner Stuart E. & Wright Julian, 2005. "Interchange Fees in Various Countries: Developments and Determinants," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-34, December.
    4. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2007. "Competing Payment Schemes," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 37-67, March.
    5. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
    6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Marcus, Scott & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Internet Interconnection and the Off-Net-Cost Pricing Principle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 370-390, Summer.
    7. Julian Wright, 2004. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-26, March.
    8. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-122, June.
    9. Alan S. Frankel, 2005. "Interchange fees in various countries : developments and determinants : commentary on Weiner and Wright," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 51-64.
    10. Armstrong, Mark, 2001. "The theory of access pricing and interconnection," MPRA Paper 15608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2005. "The economics of interchange fees and their regulation : an overview," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 73-120.
    12. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
    13. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2007. "Competing Payment Schemes," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 37-67, March.
    14. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P., 2003. "Approaches to Regulating Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-21, June.
    15. repec:reg:rpubli:105 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
    17. Hendrik J. Brouwer, 2005. "General discussion : Weiner-Wright : Interchange fees in various countries : developments and determinants," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 65-72.
    18. 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.
    19. 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 541-588, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stuart E. Weiner & Julian Wright, 2005. "Interchange fees in various countries : developments and determinants," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 5-49.
    2. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Wright, Julian, 2010. "Credit card interchange fees," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1788-1797, August.
    3. Verdier, Marianne, 2006. "Retail Payment Systems: What can we Learn from Two-Sided Markets?," MPRA Paper 2606, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2005. "The economics of interchange fees and their regulation : an overview," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 73-120.
    5. Hunt Robert M., 2003. "An Introduction to the Economics of Payment Card Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-17, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Bergman, Mats A., 2005. "A Welfare Ranking of Two-Sided Market Regimes," Working Paper Series 185, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Sep 2005.
    8. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
    9. Snellman, Heli, 2006. "Automated teller machine network market structure and cash usage," Scientific Monographs, Bank of Finland, number 2006_038.
    10. Alen Veljan, 2020. "The influence of intra- and inter-system concentration on the pre-regulated setting of interchange fees within cooperative card payment networks," Journal of Banking Regulation, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 21(2), pages 139-151, June.
    11. Michael L. Katz, 2005. "What do we know about interchange fees and what does it mean for public policy? : commentary on Evans and Schmalensee," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 121-137.
    12. 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.
    13. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
    14. Bourreau, Marc & Verdier, Marianne, 2010. "Private cards and the bypass of payment systems by merchants," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1798-1807, August.
    15. James J. 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.
    16. Ron Borzekowski & Elizabeth K. Kiser & Mark D. Manuszak & Robin A. Prager, 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.).
    17. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    18. Fumiko Hayashi & Stuart E. Weiner, 2005. "Competition and credit and debit card interchange fees: a cross-country analysis," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 05-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    19. James J. McAndrews & Zhu Wang, 2008. "The economics of two-sided payment card markets: pricing, adoption and usage," Research Working Paper RWP 08-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    20. Fumiko Hayashi & Stuart E. Weiner, 2006. "Interchange fees in Australia, the UK, and the United States : matching theory and practice," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 91(Q III), pages 75-112.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:5:y:2013:i:3:p:206-31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.