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Private cards and the bypass of payment systems by merchants

  • Bourreau, Marc
  • Verdier, Marianne

This paper studies the incentives of a merchant to bypass a payment platform by issuing private cards. In our model, a payment platform allocates the total cost of a card transaction between a monopolistic issuer and a monopolistic acquirer by choosing an "interchange fee". We determine how the level of the interchange fee impacts a merchant's decision to issue private cards, if there are strategic interactions between merchants. We prove that the payment platform can only deter entry by lowering the level of the interchange fee. If the payment platform chooses to accommodate entry, we find that the total user surplus increases, but that entry is beneficial to social welfare only if the entry cost is sufficiently low.

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

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1798-1807

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:8:p:1798-1807
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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  1. 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.
  2. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 990-1029, 06.
  3. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Beijnen, Christine & Bolt, Wilko, 2009. "Size matters: Economies of scale in European payments processing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 203-210, February.
  5. Sujit Chakravorti, 2003. "Theory of credit card networks: a survey of the literature," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 03-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  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, 03.
  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. Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Debit or credit?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Carbó Valverde Santiago & Massoud Nadia & Rodríguez-Fernández Francisco & Saunders Anthony & Scholnick Barry, 2007. "The Economics of Credit Cards, Debit Cards and ATMs: A Survey and Some New Evidence," Working Papers 201074, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  10. 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.
  11. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2008. "Must-Take Cards: Merchant Discounts and Avoided Costs," IDEI Working Papers 496, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  12. 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.
  13. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2003. "Competing Payment Schemes," Departmental Working Papers wp0311, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
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