IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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?”

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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

Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): ()

in new window

Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2005:x:1
Contact details of provider: Postal:
600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02210

Phone: 617-973-3397
Fax: 617-973-4221
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Guthrie, Graeme & Wright, Julian, 2003. "Competing Payment Schemes," Working Papers 173, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
  2. Fumiko Hayashi & Richard J. Sullivan & Stuart E. Weiner, 2006. "A guide to the ATM and debit card industry - 2006 update," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, number 2006agttaadci2, April.
  3. Stanhouse, Bryan & Ingram, Matthew, 2007. "A computational approach to the optimal structure of bank input prices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 439-453, February.
  4. Humphrey, David B & Kim, Moshe & Vale, Bent, 2001. "Realizing the Gains from Electronic Payments: Costs, Pricing, and Payment Choice," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 216-34, May.
  5. Shy, Oz & Tarkka, Juha, 2002. "The Market for Electronic Cash Cards," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 299-314, May.
  6. Telyukova, Irina A., 2012. "Household Need for Liquidity and the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt0ww2c04z, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  7. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2000. "A Debt Puzzle," Documentos de Trabajo 80, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  8. Irina Barakova & Raphael Bostic & Paul Calem & Susan Wachter, 2003. "Does Credit Quality Matter for Homeownership?," Working Paper 8608, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  9. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform competition in two sided markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24929, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
  11. Duca, John V & Whitesell, William C, 1995. "Credit Cards and Money Demand: A Cross-sectional Study," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 604-23, May.
  12. 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.
  13. Marianne A. Hilgert & Jeanne M. Hogarth & Sondra G. Beverly, 2003. "Household financial management: the connection between knowledge and behavior," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 309-322.
  14. Dean Karlan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman & Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2006. "What's psychology worth? A field experiment in the consumer credit market," Natural Field Experiments 00217, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. Ana M. Aizcorbe & Arthur B. Kennickell & Kevin B. Moore, 2003. "Recent changes in U.S. family finances: evidence from the 1998 and 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-32.
  16. Mark Furletti, 2003. "Credit card pricing developments and their disclosure," Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 03-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Hayashi Fumiko & Klee Elizabeth, 2003. "Technology Adoption and Consumer Payments: Evidence from Survey Data," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-16, June.
  18. Humphrey, David & Willesson, Magnus & Bergendahl, Goran & Lindblom, Ted, 2006. "Benefits from a changing payment technology in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1631-1652, June.
  19. Brian Mantel, 2000. "Why don't consumers use electronic banking products? towards a theory of obstacles, incentives, and opportunities," Occasional Paper; Emerging Payments EPS-2000-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  20. Whitesell, William C, 1992. "Deposit Banks and the Market for Payment Media," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(4), pages 483-98, November.
  21. Guibourg, Gabriela & Segendorff, Bjorn, 2007. "A note on the price- and cost structure of retail payment services in the Swedish banking sector 2002," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 2817-2827, September.
  22. W. Scott Frame & Lawrence J. White, 2004. "Empirical Studies of Financial Innovation: Lots of Talk, Little Action?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 116-144, March.
  23. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Dean Karlan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "What's Advertising Content Worth? Evidence from a Consumer Credit Marketing Field Experiment," Working Papers 968, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  24. Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens, 2008. "What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Pension Knowledge and Retirement Decision-Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 253-266, May.
  25. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  26. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
  27. Carol C. Bertaut & Michael Haliassos, 2001. "Debt Revolvers for Self Control," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 0208, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  28. Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "A Theory of the Consumption Function, With and Without Liquidity Constraints (Expanded Version)," NBER Working Papers 8387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Thomas A. Durkin, 2000. "Credit cards: use and consumer attitudes, 1970-2000," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Sep, pages 623-634.
  30. Arthur B. Kennickell, 1997. "Who uses electronic banking? results from the 1995 Survey of Consumer Finances," Proceedings 534, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  31. Hancock, Diana & Humphrey, David B., 1997. "Payment transactions, instruments, and systems: A survey," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(11-12), pages 1573-1624, December.
  32. Whitesell, William C, 1989. "The Demand for Currency versus Debitable Accounts: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 246-57, May.
  33. Mann, Ronald-J, 2002. "Credit Cards and Debit Cards in the United States and Japan," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 20(1), pages 123-159, January.
  34. Anthony M. Santomero & John J. Seater, 1996. "Alternative monies and the demand for media of exchange," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 942-964.
  35. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
  36. Eugenio J. Miravete, 2003. "Choosing the Wrong Calling Plan? Ignorance and Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 297-310, March.
  37. Ausubel, Lawrence M, 1991. "The Failure of Competition in the Credit Card Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 50-81, March.
  38. David B. Gross & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Do Liquidity Constraints and Interest Rates Matter for Consumer Behavior? Evidence from Credit Card Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 149-185.
  39. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "$100 Bills on the Sidewalk: Suboptimal Saving in 401(k) Plans," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000649, UCLA Department of Economics.
  40. George-Marios Angeletos, 2001. "The Hyberbolic Consumption Model: Calibration, Simulation, and Empirical Evaluation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 47-68, Summer.
  41. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2006. "Externalities and Regulations in Card Payment Systems," Post-Print hal-00173720, HAL.
  42. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
  43. David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation, Credit Card Borrowing, and Consuption-Income Comovement," Documentos de Trabajo 166, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  44. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1007-1047.
  45. Richard Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save more tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving," Natural Field Experiments 00337, The Field Experiments Website.
  46. Andrew Ching & Fumiko Hayashi, 2006. "Payment card rewards programs and consumer payment choice," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 06-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  47. Marc Rysman, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of Payment Card Usage," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  48. Geoffrey R. Gerdes & Jack K. Walton, 2002. "The use of checks and other noncash payment instruments in the United States," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Aug, pages 360-374.
  49. Ron Borzekowski & Elizabeth K. Kiser & Shaista Ahmed, 2006. "Consumers' use of debit cards: patterns, preferences, and price response," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  50. Feinberg, Richard A, 1986. " Credit Cards as Spending Facilitating Stimuli: A Conditioning Interpretation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 348-56, December.
  51. 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.
  52. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292.
  53. Thomas A. Durkin, 2002. "Consumers and credit disclosures: credit cards and credit insurance," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Apr, pages 201-213.
  54. Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1998. "The Red and the Black: Mental Accounting of Savings and Debt," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(1), pages 4-28.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2005:x:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Catherine Spozio)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.