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What Does it Cost to Make a Payment?


  • Humphrey David

    () (Florida State University)

  • Willesson Magnus

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Lindblom Ted

    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Bergendahl Göran

    (University of Gothenburg)


We survey the limited data that exists concerning the cost of making/receiving a payment by banks, retailers, and other parties to a transaction. Since an electronic payment costs between one-third and onehalf that of a paper-based instrument, a country may save 1% of its GDP annually as it shifts from a fully paper-based to a fully electronic-based payment system. Some gains have already been realized. Additional analysis indicates that bank costs of making a payment may have fallen by 45% in Europe as the share of electronic transactions in 12 countries rose from .43 to .79 over 1987-1999.

Suggested Citation

  • Humphrey David & Willesson Magnus & Lindblom Ted & Bergendahl Göran, 2003. "What Does it Cost to Make a Payment?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-16, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rneart:v:2:y:2003:i:2:n:7

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carbó-Valverde, Santiago & Liñares-Zegarra, José M., 2011. "How effective are rewards programs in promoting payment card usage? Empirical evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3275-3291.
    2. John Ashton & Andros Gregoriou, 2014. "The role of implicit costs and product quality in determining the customer costs of using personal current accounts," Working Papers 14001, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    3. Helmi Hamdi, 2007. "Some Ambiguities Concerning the Development of Electronic Money," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 31(3), pages 293-307.
    4. David B. Humphrey & Magnus Willesson & Goran Bergendahl & Ted Lindblom, 2003. "Cost savings from electronic payments and ATMs in Europe," Working Papers 03-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    5. Hans Brits & Carlo Winder, 2005. "Payments are no free lunch," DNB Occasional Studies 302, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    6. Monnet, Cyril & Roberds, William, 2008. "Optimal pricing of payment services," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1428-1440, November.
    7. Cyril Monnet & William Roberds, 2006. "Credit and the no-surcharge rule," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. 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.
    9. Huynh, Kim P. & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp & Stix, Helmut, 2014. "Whenever and Wherever: The Role of Card Acceptance in the Transaction Demand for Money," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 472, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    10. Cyril Monnet & William Roberds, 2007. "Optimal pricing of payment services when cash is an alternative," Working Papers 07-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    11. Huynh, Kim P. & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp & Stix, Helmut, 2014. "The Role of Card Acceptance in the Transaction Demand for Money," CEPR Discussion Papers 10183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Takala, Kari & Virén, Matti, 2008. "Efficiency and costs of payments : some new evidence from Finland," Research Discussion Papers 11/2008, Bank of Finland.
    13. Ricardo Bebczuk & Tamara Burdisso & Máximo Sangiácomo, 2012. "Credit vs. Payment Services: Financial Development and Economic Activity Revisited," BCRA Working Paper Series 201256, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    14. Hasan, Iftekhar & Martikainen, Emmi & Takalo, Tuomas, 2014. "Promoting efficient retail payments in Europe," Research Discussion Papers 20/2014, Bank of Finland.
    15. Martikainen, Emmi & Schmiedel, Heiko & Takalo, Tuomas, 2015. "Convergence of European retail payments," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 81-91.
    16. Kahn, Charles M. & Roberds, William, 2009. "Why pay? An introduction to payments economics," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23, January.
    17. 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.
    18. Hasan, Iftekhar & Schmiedel, Heiko & Song, Liang, 2010. "Return from retail banking and payments," Research Discussion Papers 3/2010, Bank of Finland.

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