IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/indorg/v28y2010i1p86-98.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Market structure and payment card pricing: What drives the interchange?

Author

Listed:
  • Wang, Zhu

Abstract

This paper provides a new theory to explain empirical puzzles regarding payment card interchange fees. Our model departs from the existing two-sided market theories by arguing that the extensive margin of card usage is less important in a mature card market. Instead, we focus on card issuer entry, elastic consumer demand and the role of card transaction value. Our analysis suggests that card networks demand higher interchange fees to maximize member issuers' profits as card payments become more efficient and convenient. At equilibrium, consumer rewards and card transaction values increase with interchange fees, while consumer surplus and merchant profits may not. Based on the theoretical framework, we discuss pros and cons of policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Zhu, 2010. "Market structure and payment card pricing: What drives the interchange?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 86-98, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:1:p:86-98
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-7187(09)00061-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marc Rysman, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis Of Payment Card Usage," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-36, March.
    2. Hayashi Fumiko, 2006. "A Puzzle of Card Payment Pricing: Why Are Merchants Still Accepting Card Payments?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, March.
    3. Schwartz Marius & Vincent Daniel R., 2006. "The No Surcharge Rule and Card User Rebates: Vertical Control by a Payment Network," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, March.
    4. Rochet Jean-Charles & Tirole Jean, 2006. "Externalities and Regulation in Card Payment Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-14, March.
    5. Stango, Victor, 2003. "Strategic Responses to Regulatory Threat in the Credit Card Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 427-452, October.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-122, June.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Wright, Julian, 2003. "Optimal card payment systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 587-612, August.
    13. 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.
    14. Oz Shy & Zhu Wang, 2008. "Why do card issuers charge proportional fees?," Research Working Paper RWP 08-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    15. Rochet Jean-Charles & Tirole Jean, 2003. "An Economic Analysis of the Determination of Interchange Fees in Payment Card Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-11, June.
    16. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
    17. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Marcos Valli Jorge & Wilfredo Leiva Maldonado, 2016. "Price differentiation and menu costs in credit card payments," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 43(2), pages 178-202, May.
    2. Wang, Zhu, 2016. "Price cap regulation in a two-sided market: Intended and unintended consequences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 28-37.
    3. 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.
    4. Vilen Lipatov, 2015. "A Note on Partial Merchant Internalization and MIT Threshold," CESifo Working Paper Series 5684, CESifo.
    5. Marc Bourreau & Marianne Verdier, 2019. "Interchange Fees and Innovation in Payment Systems," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 54(1), pages 129-158, February.
    6. Rysman Marc & Wright Julian, 2014. "The Economics of Payment Cards," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 303-353, September.
    7. Rong Ding & Julian Wright, 2017. "Payment Card Interchange Fees and Price Discrimination," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 39-72, March.
    8. Zhu Wang, 2013. "Demand externalitites and price cap regulation: Learning from a two-sided market," Working Paper 13-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    9. Zhu Wang, 2012. "Debit card interchange fee regulation: some assessments and considerations," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 98(3Q), pages 159-182.
    10. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    11. Julian Wright, 2012. "Why payment card fees are biased against retailers," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(4), pages 761-780, December.
    12. Berkovich Efraim, 2012. "Card Rewards and Cross-Subsidization in the Gasoline and Grocery Markets," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 1-38, December.
    13. Neil Mitchell & Scarlett Schwartz & Zhu Wang, 2014. "The Impact of the Durbin Amendment on Merchants: A Survey Study," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 3Q, pages 183-208.
    14. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2013. "The Antitrust Analysis of Multi-Sided Platform Businesses," NBER Working Papers 18783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Oz Shy & Zhu Wang, 2011. "Why Do Payment Card Networks Charge Proportional Fees?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1575-1590, June.

    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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Economides, Nicholas & Henriques, David, 2011. "To surcharge or not to surcharge? A two-sided market perspective of the no-surchage rule," Working Paper Series 1388, European Central Bank.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.).
    9. Reisinger, Markus & Zenger, Hans, 2019. "Interchange fee regulation and service investments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 40-77.
    10. Verdier, Marianne, 2006. "Retail Payment Systems: What can we Learn from Two-Sided Markets?," MPRA Paper 2606, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Wang, Zhu, 2016. "Price cap regulation in a two-sided market: Intended and unintended consequences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 28-37.
    12. Oz Shy & Zhu Wang, 2008. "Why do card issuers charge proportional fees?," Research Working Paper RWP 08-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    13. Zhu Wang, 2008. "Market structure and credit card pricing: what drives the interchange?," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 06-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    14. 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.
    15. Samuel Rutz, 2010. "Interchange Fees as a Mechanism to Raise Rivals' Costs - Some Evidence from Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(II), pages 507-532, June.
    16. Jonker Nicole, 2011. "Card Acceptance and Surcharging: the Role of Costs and Competition," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, June.
    17. Fumiko Hayashi, 2008. "The economics of payment card fee structure: what is the optimal balance between merchant fee and payment card rewards?," Research Working Paper RWP 08-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    18. Fumiko Hayashi, 2008. "The economics of payment card fee structure: policy considerations of payment card rewards," Research Working Paper RWP 08-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    19. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Wright, Julian, 2010. "Credit card interchange fees," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1788-1797, August.
    20. Zhu Wang, 2010. "Regulating debit cards: the case of ad valorem fees," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 95(Q I), pages 71-93.

    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:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:1:p:86-98. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551 .

    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.