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Incentives at the counter: An empirical analysis of surcharging card payments and payment behaviour in the Netherlands

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  • Bolt, Wilko
  • Jonker, Nicole
  • van Renselaar, Corry

Abstract

In card payment systems, no-surcharge rules prohibit merchants from charging consumers extra for card payments. However, such rules are prohibited in the Netherlands. Dutch retailers are allowed to surcharge consumers for debit card use. This setting permits an empirical analysis of the impact of surcharging card payments on merchant acceptance and consumer payment choice. Based on consumer and retailer survey data, our analysis shows that surcharging steers consumers away from using debit cards towards cash. Half of the observed difference in debit card payment shares across retailers can be explained by this surcharge effect. Removing debit card surcharges may induce cost savings of more than EUR 50 million in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Bolt, Wilko & Jonker, Nicole & van Renselaar, Corry, 2010. "Incentives at the counter: An empirical analysis of surcharging card payments and payment behaviour in the Netherlands," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1738-1744, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:8:p:1738-1744
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Humphrey, David B., 2004. "Replacement of cash by cards in US consumer payments," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 211-225.
    2. Wilko Bolt & David Humphrey & Roland Uittenbogaard, 2005. "The Effect of Transaction Pricing on the Adoption of Electronic Payments: A Cross-Country Comparison," DNB Working Papers 071, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Garcia-Swartz Daniel D. & Hahn Robert W. & Layne-Farrar Anne, 2006. "The Move Toward a Cashless Society: A Closer Look at Payment Instrument Economics," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-24, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Survey data Retail payments No-surcharge rule Cost efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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