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Explaining the Interplay Between Merchant Acceptance and Consumer Adoption in Two-Sided Markets for Payment Methods

Author

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  • Kim Huynh
  • Gradon Nicholls
  • Oleksandr Shcherbakov

Abstract

Recent consumer and merchant surveys show a decrease in the use of cash at point-of-sale (POS). Increasingly, consumers and merchants have access to a growing array of payment innovations as substitutes for cash. The market for payments is two-sided, meaning that a method of payment can be used only if both consumers and merchants adopt/accept it. This paper develops a model to assess how innovations affect consumers’ adoption and merchants’ acceptance of various payment instruments, and their usage patterns at the POS. We model this interdependence in two stages. First, consumers and merchants decide on which methods of payment to adopt and accept, respectively. Second, consumers and merchants meet at the POS, and the consumer chooses their preferred method of payment given what the merchant accepts. Estimates from our model suggest that both sides of the market can benefit from accepting all means of payment. Further, our model predicts that merchants are much more sensitive to an increase in their payment costs than consumers. We use our model to predict what would happen under three scenarios. First, increasing merchants’ cost of using credit cards would significantly reduce merchant acceptance of this payment instrument in favour of debit. Second, the cost of using cash would have to increase substantially on both sides of the market for cash usage to fall below 1 percent of transaction volume. Finally, even if all consumers/merchants adopted/accepted all methods of payment, cash would fall but would remain at 20 percent of transaction volume. These findings suggest a completely cashless society is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim Huynh & Gradon Nicholls & Oleksandr Shcherbakov, 2019. "Explaining the Interplay Between Merchant Acceptance and Consumer Adoption in Two-Sided Markets for Payment Methods," Staff Working Papers 19-32, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:19-32
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Bagnall & David Bounie & Kim P. Huynh & Anneke Kosse & Tobias Schmidt & Scott Schuh, 2016. "Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(4), pages 1-61, December.
    2. Naoki Wakamori & Angelika Welte, 2017. "Why Do Shoppers Use Cash? Evidence from Shopping Diary Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(1), pages 115-169, February.
    3. Ben Fung & Kim Huynh & Gerald Stuber, 2015. "The Use of Cash in Canada," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2015(Spring), pages 45-56.
    4. Marc Rysman, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis Of Payment Card Usage," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-36, March.
    5. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    6. Jasmina Arifovic & John Duffy & Janet Hua Jiang, 2017. "Adoption of a New Payment Method: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Staff Working Papers 17-28, Bank of Canada.
    7. Rysman Marc & Wright Julian, 2014. "The Economics of Payment Cards," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 303-353, September.
    8. Carlos Arango & Kim Huynh & Ben Fung & Gerald Stuber, 2012. "The Changing Landscape for Retail Payments in Canada and the Implications for the Demand for Cash," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2012(Autumn), pages 31-40.
    9. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
    10. Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-143, Summer.
    11. Christopher Henry & Kim Huynh & Rallye Shen, 2015. "2013 Methods-of-Payment Survey Results," Discussion Papers 15-4, Bank of Canada.
    12. Sergei Koulayev & Marc Rysman & Scott Schuh & Joanna Stavins, 2016. "Explaining adoption and use of payment instruments by US consumers," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(2), pages 293-325, May.
    13. Anneke Kosse & Heng Chen & Marie-Hélène Felt & Valéry Dongmo Jiongo & Kerry Nield & Angelika Welte, 2017. "The Costs of Point-of-Sale Payments in Canada," Discussion Papers 17-4, Bank of Canada.
    14. Santiago Carbó Valverde & Sujit Chakravorti & Francisco Rodríguez Fernández, 2016. "The Role of Interchange Fees in Two-Sided Markets: An Empirical Investigation on Payment Cards," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 367-381, May.
    15. Jean‐Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Must‐Take Cards: Merchant Discounts And Avoided Costs," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 462-495, June.
    16. Huynh, Kim P. & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp & Stix, Helmut, 2014. "The Role of Card Acceptance in the Transaction Demand for Money," CEPR Discussion Papers 10183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. David Bounie & Abel François & Leo Van Hove, 2017. "Consumer Payment Preferences, Network Externalities, and Merchant Card Acceptance: An Empirical Investigation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 51(3), pages 257-290, November.
    18. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari & Stefania Bortolotti, 2016. "An Experiment on Retail Payments Systems," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(2-3), pages 363-392, March.
    19. Ben Fung & Kim Huynh & Kerry Nield & Angelika Welte, 2018. "Merchant Acceptance of Cash and Credit Cards at the Point of Sale," Staff Analytical Notes 2018-1, Bank of Canada.
    20. Christopher Henry & Kim Huynh & Angelika Welte, 2018. "2017 Methods-of-Payment Survey Report," Discussion Papers 18-17, Bank of Canada.
    21. 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.
    22. Oz Shy & Zhu Wang, 2011. "Why Do Payment Card Networks Charge Proportional Fees?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1575-1590, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Neringa Vilkaite-Vaitone & Ilona Skackauskiene, 2020. "Service Customer Loyalty: An Evaluation Based on Loyalty Factors," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(6), pages 1-20, March.
    2. Kim Huynh & Gradon Nicholls & Mitchell Nicholson, 2019. "2018 Merchant Acceptance Survey," Staff Analytical Notes 2019-31, Bank of Canada.
    3. Anneke Kosse & Zhentong Lu & Gabriel Xerri, 2020. "An Economic Perspective on Payments Migration," Staff Working Papers 20-24, Bank of Canada.
    4. Kim Huynh & Jozsef Molnar & Oleksandr Shcherbakov & Qinghui Yu, 2020. "Demand for Payment Services and Consumer Welfare: The Introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency," Staff Working Papers 20-7, Bank of Canada.
    5. Angelika Welte & Jozsef Molnar, 2020. "The Market for Acquiring Card Payments from Small and Medium-Sized Canadian Merchants," Discussion Papers 2020-5, Bank of Canada.
    6. Anneke Kosse & Zhentong Lu & Gabriel Xerri, 2020. "Predicting Payment Migration in Canada," Staff Working Papers 20-37, Bank of Canada.
    7. Janet Hua Jiang, 2020. "CBDC adoption and usage: some insights from field and laboratory experiments," Staff Analytical Notes 2020-12, Bank of Canada.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank notes; Digital Currencies and Fintech; Econometric and statistical methods; Financial services;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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