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Credit card interchange fees

  • Rochet, Jean-Charles
  • Wright, Julian

We build a model of credit card pricing that explicitly takes into account credit functionality. In the model a monopoly card network always selects an interchange fee that exceeds the level that maximizes consumer surplus. If regulators only care about consumer surplus, a conservative regulatory approach is to cap interchange fees based on retailers' net avoided costs from not having to provide credit themselves. This always raises consumer surplus compared to the unregulated outcome, sometimes to the point of maximizing consumer surplus.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1788-1797

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:8:p:1788-1797
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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  1. Wright, Julian, 2003. "Optimal card payment systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 587-612, August.
  2. Richard Schmalensee, 2001. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," NBER Working Papers 8256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:reg:rpubli:338 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Debit or credit?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 358-366, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2007. "COMPETING PAYMENT SCHEMES -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 37-67, 03.
  9. Scholnick, Barry & Massoud, Nadia & Saunders, Anthony & Carbo-Valverde, Santiago & Rodríguez-Fernández, Francisco, 2008. "The economics of credit cards, debit cards and ATMs: A survey and some new evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1468-1483, August.
  10. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Consumer Choice and Merchant Acceptance of Payment Media," DNB Working Papers 197, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  11. Simon, John & Smith, Kylie & West, Tim, 2010. "Price incentives and consumer payment behaviour," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1759-1772, August.
  12. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
  13. Chang Howard & Evans David S. & Garcia Swartz Daniel D., 2005. "The Effect of Regulatory Intervention in Two-Sided Markets: An Assessment of Interchange-Fee Capping in Australia," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-31, December.
  14. Schuh, Scott & Stavins, Joanna, 2010. "Why are (some) consumers (finally) writing fewer checks? The role of payment characteristics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1745-1758, August.
  15. Sujit Chakravorti & William R. Emmons, 2001. "Who pays for credit cards?," Occasional Paper; Emerging Payments EPS-2001-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. Hendrik J. Brouwer & Chair, 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.
  17. 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 541-88, October.
  18. Hyytinen Ari & Takalo Tuomas, 2009. "Consumer Awareness and the Use of Payment Media: Evidence from Young Finnish Consumers," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-25, June.
  19. Jean‐Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Must‐Take Cards: Merchant Discounts And Avoided Costs," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 462-495, 06.
  20. Julian Wright, 2004. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-26, 03.
  21. Farrell Joseph, 2006. "Efficiency and Competition between Payment Instruments," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, March.
  22. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2003. "Competing Payment Schemes," Departmental Working Papers wp0311, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
  23. 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.
  24. Terri Bradford, 2008. "Developments in interchange fees in the United States and abroad," Payments System Research Briefing, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Apr.
  25. 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.
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