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Consumer payment choice: Merchant card acceptance versus pricing incentives

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  • Arango, Carlos
  • Huynh, Kim P.
  • Sabetti, Leonard

Abstract

Using transaction-level data from a three-day shopping diary, we estimate a model of consumer payment instrument choice that disentangles the effect of merchant card acceptance from credit card pricing incentives (rewards) at the point-of-sale. The lack of merchant card acceptance plays a large role in the use of cash, especially for low-value transactions (less than 25dollars). Participation in a credit card rewards program induces a shift toward credit card usage at the expense of both debit cards and cash. In contrast, changes in the amount of rewards (ad valorem) has a small or inelastic effect on the probability of paying with credit cards. Our findings highlight the importance of the two-sided nature of retail payment systems and provide key insights into consumer and merchant behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Arango, Carlos & Huynh, Kim P. & Sabetti, Leonard, 2015. "Consumer payment choice: Merchant card acceptance versus pricing incentives," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 130-141.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:55:y:2015:i:c:p:130-141
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2015.02.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cash; Debit and credit cards; Reward programs; Retail payment systems;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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