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Size matters: economies of scale in European payments processing

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  • Christine Beijnen
  • Wilko Bolt

Abstract

This paper investigates the existence and extent of economies of scale in the European payment processing industry. It is expected that the creation of a Single European Payments Area (SEPA) will spur consolidations and mergers among European payment processors to more fully realize payment economies of scale. We find evidence for the existence of significant economies of scale using data of eight European payment processors during the year 1990-2005. The analysis also reveals that ownership structure is an important factor to explain cost differences across European ACHs.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Beijnen & Wilko Bolt, 2007. "Size matters: economies of scale in European payments processing," DNB Working Papers 155, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:155
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jürgen von Hagen & Iulia Traistaru-Siedschlag, 2006. "Macroeconomic Adjustment in the New EU Member States," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 2006/4 edited by Morten Balling.
    2. Bolt, Wilko & Humphrey, David, 2005. "Public good issues in TARGET: natural monopoly, scale economies, network effects and cost allocation," Working Paper Series 505, European Central Bank.
    3. Hancock, Diana & Humphrey, David B. & Wilcox, James A., 1999. "Cost reductions in electronic payments: The roles of consolidation, economies of scale, and technical change," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 391-421, February.
    4. Schmiedel, Heiko & Malkamaki, Markku & Tarkka, Juha, 2006. "Economies of scale and technological development in securities depository and settlement systems," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1783-1806, June.
    5. repec:bpj:rneart:v:6:y:2007:i:4:p:453-473 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bolt Wilko & Humphrey David, 2007. "Payment Network Scale Economies, SEPA, and Cash Replacement," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, pages 1-21.
    7. Paul W. Bauer & Gary D. Ferrier, 1996. "Scale economies, cost efficiencies, and technological change in Federal Reserve payments processing," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 1004-1044.
    8. Patrick Van Cayseele & Christophe Wuyts, 2006. "Measuring Scale Economies in a Heterogeneous Industry: The Case of European Settlement Institutions," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
    9. Paul W. Bauer & Gary D. Ferrier, 1996. "Scale economies, cost efficiencies, and technological change in Federal Reserve payments processing," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 1004-1044.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Robert M. Adams & Paul W. Bauer & Robin C. Sickles, 2002. "Scope and scale economies in Federal Reserve payment processing," Working Paper 0213, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    13. Bolt Wilko & Humphrey David, 2007. "Payment Network Scale Economies, SEPA, and Cash Replacement," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, pages 1-21.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Santiago Carbó Valverde & Sujit Chakravorti & Francisco Rodríguez-Fernández, 2009. "Regulating two-sided markets: an empirical investigation," Working Paper Series WP-09-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Bourreau, Marc & Verdier, Marianne, 2010. "Private cards and the bypass of payment systems by merchants," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1798-1807, August.
    3. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Economics of payment cards: a status report," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 15-27.
    4. 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.
    5. Iftekhar Hasan & Heiko Schmiedel & Liang Song, 2012. "Returns to Retail Banking and Payments," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, pages 163-195.
    6. Bolt, Wilko & Humphrey, David, 2010. "Bank competition efficiency in Europe: A frontier approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1808-1817, August.
    7. Peter Docherty & G Wang, 2006. "Using Synthetic Data to Measure the Impact of RTGS on Systemic Risk in the Australian Payments System," Working Paper Series 149, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    8. Hasan, Iftekhar & Schmiedel, Heiko & Song, Liang, 2009. "Return to retail banking and payments," Working Paper Series 1135, European Central Bank.
    9. Carbó-Valverde, Santiago & Liñares-Zegarra, José M., 2011. "How effective are rewards programs in promoting payment card usage? Empirical evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3275-3291.
    10. Bolt, Wilko & Jonker, Nicole & van Renselaar, Corry, 2010. "Incentives at the counter: An empirical analysis of surcharging card payments and payment behaviour in the Netherlands," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1738-1744, August.
    11. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    12. Nicole Jonker & Mirjam Plooij & Johan Verburg, 2015. "Does a public campaign influence debit card usage? Evidence from the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 470, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    13. Li, Shaofang & Marinč, Matej, 2016. "Competition in the clearing and settlement industry," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 134-162.
    14. Bolt, Wilko & Schmiedel, Heiko, 2009. "SEPA, efficiency, and payment card competition," Working Paper Series 1140, European Central Bank.
    15. Pokutta, Sebastian & Schmaltz, Christian, 2011. "Managing liquidity: Optimal degree of centralization," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 627-638, March.
    16. Docherty, Peter & Wang, Gehong, 2010. "Using synthetic data to evaluate the impact of RTGS on systemic risk in the Australian payments system," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, pages 103-117.
    17. Hasan, Iftekhar & Schmiedel, Heiko & Song, Liang, 2010. "Return from retail banking and payments," Research Discussion Papers 3/2010, Bank of Finland.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    SEPA; payment scale economies; ACHs; ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling

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