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An Experiment on Retail Payments Systems

  • G. Camera
  • M. Casari
  • S. Bortolotti

We study the behavioral underpinnings of adopting cash versus electronic payments in retail transactions. A novel theoretical and experimental framework is developed to primarily assess the impact of sellers’ service fees and buyers’ rewards from using electronic payments. Buyers and sellers face a coordination problem, independently choosing a payment method before trading. In the experiment, sellers readily adopt electronic payments but buyers do not. Eliminating service fees or introducing rewards significantly boosts the adoption of electronic payments. Hence, buyers’ incentives play a pivotal role in the diffusion of electronic payments but monetary incentives cannot fully explain their adoption choices. Findings from this experiment complement empirical findings based on surveys and field data.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp942.

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Date of creation: May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp942
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  1. 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.
  2. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "The Payments System, Liquidity, and Rediscounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1126-38, December.
  3. Vernon L. Smith, 1962. "An Experimental Study of Competitive Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 322.
  4. 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.
  5. Humphrey, David B., 2010. "Retail payments: New contributions, empirical results, and unanswered questions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1729-1737, August.
  6. 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.).
  7. John Simon & Kylie Smith & Tim West, 2009. "Price Incentives and Consumer Payment Behaviour," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2009-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  8. Arango, Carlos & Huynh, Kim P. & Sabetti, Leonard, 2011. "How do you pay? The role of incentives at the point-of-sale," Working Paper Series 1386, European Central Bank.
  9. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2006. "When and Why? A Critical Survey on Coordination Failure in the Laboratory," CEEL Working Papers 0605, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  10. 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.
  11. Noussair, C.N. & Tucker, S., 2013. "Experimental Research On Asset Pricing," Discussion Paper 2013-020, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Camera, Gabriele, 2001. "Dirty money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 377-415, April.
  13. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Joanna Stavins, 2004. "Network Externalities and Technology Adoption: Lessons from Electronic Payments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 260-276, Summer.
  14. Charles M. Kahn & James McAndrews & William Roberds, 2005. "Money Is Privacy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 377-399, 05.
  15. Carlos A. Arango & Dylan Hogg & Alyssa Lee, 2015. "Why Is Cash (Still) So Entrenched? Insights From Canadian Shopping Diaries," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 141-158, 01.
  16. Jasmina Arifovic & Janet Hua Jiang, 2014. "Do Sunspots Matter? Evidence from an Experimental Study of Bank Runs," Staff Working Papers 14-12, Bank of Canada.
  17. Arifovic, Jasmina & Hua Jiang, Janet & Xu, Yiping, 2013. "Experimental evidence of bank runs as pure coordination failures," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2446-2465.
  18. Klee, Elizabeth, 2008. "How people pay: Evidence from grocery store data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 526-541, April.
  19. Carlos Arango & Dylan Hogg & Alyssa Lee, 2012. "Why Is Cash (Still) So Entrenched? Insights from the Bank of Canada’s 2009 Methods-of-Payment Survey," Discussion Papers 12-2, Bank of Canada.
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