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Competition in bank-provided payment services


  • Bolt, Wilko
  • Humphrey, David


Banks supply payment services that underpin the smooth operation of the economy. To ensure an efficient payment system, it is important to maintain competition among payment service providers but data available to gauge the degree of competition are quite limited. We propose and implement a frontierbased method to assess relative competition in bank-provided payment services. Billion dollar banks account for around ninety percent of assets in the US and those with around to billion in assets turn out to be both the most and the least competitive in payment services, not the very largest banks. JEL Classification: G21, L80, L00

Suggested Citation

  • Bolt, Wilko & Humphrey, David, 2013. "Competition in bank-provided payment services," Working Paper Series 1539, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131539

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manganelli, Simone & Altunbas, Yener & Marqués-Ibáñez, David, 2011. "Bank risk during the financial crisis: do business models matter?," Working Paper Series 1394, European Central Bank.
    2. Iftekhar Hasan & Heiko Schmiedel & Liang Song, 2012. "Returns to Retail Banking and Payments," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 163-195, June.
    3. Jan Boone, 2008. "Competition: Theoretical Parameterizations and Empirical Measures," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(4), pages 587-611, December.
    4. DeYoung, Robert, 1997. "A diagnostic test for the distribution-free efficiency estimator: An example using U.S. commercial bank data," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 243-249, April.
    5. Lawrence J. Radecki & John Wenninger & Daniel Orlow, 1996. "Bank branches in supermarkets," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 2(Dec).
    6. Jan Boone, 2008. "A New Way to Measure Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1245-1261, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B., 1997. "Efficiency of financial institutions: International survey and directions for future research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 175-212, April.
    9. Wilko Bolt & Heiko Schmiedel, 2013. "Pricing of payment cards, competition, and efficiency: a possible guide for SEPA," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-25, February.
    10. Ho, Katherine & Ishii, Joy, 2011. "Location and competition in retail banking," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 537-546, September.
    11. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
    12. Santiago Carbó Valverde & David Humphrey & Rafael López del Paso, 2007. "Opening the black box: Finding the source of cost inefficiency," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 209-220, June.
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    More about this item


    banks; competition; frontier analysis; payments;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General

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