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How Long Does It Take You to Pay? A Duration Study of Canadian Retail Transaction Payment Times

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  • Geneviève Vallée

Abstract

Using an exclusive data set of payment times for retail transactions made in Canada, I show that cash is the most time-efficient method of payment (MOP) when compared with payments by debit and credit cards. I model payment efficiency using Cox proportional hazard models, accounting for consumer choice of MOP. I propose two instruments to identify and estimate the causal relationship between MOP and payment time: (1) the value of the transaction, and (2) the duration of the payment preceding the one under observation. Discounting consumer selection underestimates the efficiency of cash relative to cards. Overall, the efficiency of MOPs is an important component of the private and social costs of making and accepting payments. The efficiency of cash helps explain its continued use in Canada, which is motivated by its low cost in terms of payment time for consumers and merchants.

Suggested Citation

  • Geneviève Vallée, 2018. "How Long Does It Take You to Pay? A Duration Study of Canadian Retail Transaction Payment Times," Staff Working Papers 18-46, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:18-46
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank notes; Econometric and statistical methods; Payment clearing and settlement systems;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System

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