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