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Debit or credit?

  • Jonathan Zinman

Consumers make millions of payments at retail establishments, also known as point of sale or POS transactions. Fifty years ago consumers had only two POS payment options—cash or check. Now they have many choices: credit card, check, cash, store-issued charge card, stored-value card, debit card, or EFT. How do they decide which payment method to use? Is cost a major factor? What about demographic characteristics? Does the dollar value of the transaction determine the selection? What has caused consumers to switch from checks to electronic payments? How are incentives (e.g., miles) influencing payment behavior? Are these incentives distorting payment behavior in a way that is costly for the retailer? Jonathan Zinman will open this session with a brief overview of his paper “Debit or Credit?”

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its journal Conference Series ; [Proceedings].

Volume (Year): (2005)
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2005:x:1
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