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Social costs of POS payments in the Netherlands 2002-2012: Efficiency gains from increased debit card usage

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  • Nicole Jonker

Abstract

The overall costs of the payment system to society are considerable. These costs depend on the relative usage of the available payment instruments, which differ in the costs that each entails to market participants in the payment chain. In the Netherlands, debit card payments have become less costly than cash payments. In 2012 an average cash payment cost EUR 0.44 whereas an average debit card payment cost EUR 0.30. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of debit card payments more than doubled to 2.5 billion, while cash usage declined to 3.75 billion payments. As a result of the changing payment behaviour of the Dutch, the total costs of cash and debit card payments to society declined by 10% from over EUR 2.6 billion in 2002 to less than EUR 2.4 billion in 2012. Relative to GDP, the social costs dropped from 0.57% to 0.40% of GDP. The costs incurred by banks for cash and debit card payments have been rather stable. Retailers, on the other hand, have achieved major cost reductions. The trend towards more card and less cash usage is expected to continue. From a cost perspective this will be beneficial for society as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicole Jonker, 2013. "Social costs of POS payments in the Netherlands 2002-2012: Efficiency gains from increased debit card usage," DNB Occasional Studies 1102, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbocs:1102
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    File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/en/binaries/OS2_tcm47-288179.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonker Nicole, 2011. "Card Acceptance and Surcharging: the Role of Costs and Competition," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, June.
    2. Wilko Bolt, 2006. "Retail Payments in the Netherlands: Facts and Theory," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 345-372, September.
    3. Hans Brits & Carlo Winder, 2005. "Payments are no free lunch," DNB Occasional Studies 302, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. ten Raa, Thijs & Shestalova, Victoria, 2004. "Empirical evidence on payment media costs and switch points," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 203-213, January.
    5. Anikó Turján & Éva Divéki & Éva Keszy-Harmath & Gergely Kóczán & Kristóf Takács, 2011. "Nothing is free: a survey of the social cost of the main payment instruments in Hungary," MNB Occasional Papers 2011/93, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
    6. Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse & Lola Hernández, 2012. "Cash usage in the Netherlands: How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants?," DNB Occasional Studies 1002, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Bolt Wilko & Humphrey David, 2007. "Payment Network Scale Economies, SEPA, and Cash Replacement," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(4), pages 1-21, December.
    8. Garcia-Swartz Daniel D. & Hahn Robert W. & Layne-Farrar Anne, 2006. "The Move Toward a Cashless Society: Calculating the Costs and Benefits," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Arango & Yassine Bouhdaoui & David Bounie & Martina Eschelbach & Lola Hernández, 2013. "Cash Management and Payment Choices: A Simulation Model with International Comparisons," Staff Working Papers 13-53, Bank of Canada.
    2. repec:bla:jconsa:v:51:y:2017:i:1:p:91-112 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social costs; efficiency; payment instruments;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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