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How effective are rewards programs in promoting payment card usage? Empirical evidence

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  • Carbó-Valverde, Santiago
  • Liñares-Zegarra, José M.

Abstract

Card issuers have mainly relied on rewards programs as their main strategy to increase usage. However, there is scarce evidence on the effectiveness of these programs. This paper is addressing two topics which could have important managerial and public policy implications: (i) it estimates the impact of rewards on the use of cards and (ii) it quantifies their economic effects in terms of the cash substitution. We find that rewards may significantly modify choice for card payments. Their economic impact also varies significantly across types of rewards and merchant activities. Additionally, rewards seem to be more effective for debit cards.

Suggested Citation

  • Carbó-Valverde, Santiago & Liñares-Zegarra, José M., 2011. "How effective are rewards programs in promoting payment card usage? Empirical evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3275-3291.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:35:y:2011:i:12:p:3275-3291
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2011.05.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2011. "Pricing in Retail Payment Systems: A Public Policy Perspective on Pricing of Payment Cards," DNB Working Papers 331, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Anneke Kosse & David-Jan Jansen, 2011. "Choosing how to pay: the influence of home country habits," DNB Working Papers 328, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Ching, Andrew T. & Hayashi, Fumiko, 2010. "Payment card rewards programs and consumer payment choice," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1773-1787, August.
    4. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Kosse, Anneke & Jansen, David-Jan, 2013. "Choosing how to pay: The influence of foreign backgrounds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 989-998.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payment cards; Rewards; Choice; Merchants; Cardholders;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money

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