IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/esm/wpaper/esmt-10-005.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pricing payment cards

Author

Listed:
  • Özlem Bedre-Defolie

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

  • Emilio Calvano

    (Bocconi University)

Abstract

Payment card networks, such as Visa, require merchants' banks to pay substantial "interchange" fees to cardholders' banks, on a per transaction basis. This paper shows that a network's profit-maximizing fee induces an inefficient price structure, over-subsidizing card usage and over-taxing merchants. In contrast to the literature we show that this distortion is systematic and arises from the fact that consumers make two distinct decisions (membership and usage) whereas merchants make only one (membership). These findings are robust to competition for cardholders and/or for merchants, network competition, and strategic card acceptance to attract consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Özlem Bedre-Defolie & Emilio Calvano, 2010. "Pricing payment cards," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-005, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-10-005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://static.esmt.org/publications/workingpapers/ESMT-10-005.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    2. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, 2010. "Competitive Non-linear Pricing and Bundling," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 30-60.
    3. Weiner Stuart E. & Wright Julian, 2005. "Interchange Fees in Various Countries: Developments and Determinants," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-34, December.
    4. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2003. "Competing Payment Schemes," Departmental Working Papers wp0311, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
    5. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
    6. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Marcus, Scott & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2003. " Internet Interconnection and the Off-Net-Cost Pricing Principle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 370-390, Summer.
    7. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-122, June.
    8. Alan S. Frankel, 2005. "Interchange fees in various countries : developments and determinants : commentary on Weiner and Wright," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 51-64.
    9. David S. Evans & Richard Schmalensee, 2005. "The economics of interchange fees and their regulation : an overview," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 73-120.
    10. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
    11. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P., 2003. "Approaches to Regulating Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-21, June.
    12. repec:reg:rpubli:105 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Julian Wright, 2004. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-26, March.
    14. Hendrik J. Brouwer & Chair, 2005. "General discussion : Weiner-Wright : Interchange fees in various countries : developments and determinants," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 65-72.
    15. Baxter, William F, 1983. "Bank Interchange of Transactional Paper: Legal and Economic Perspectives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 541-588, October.
    16. Armstrong, Mark, 2001. "The theory of access pricing and interconnection," MPRA Paper 15608, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P, 2003. "The Neutrality of Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    18. Rochet Jean-Charles, 2003. "The Theory of Interchange Fees: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-28, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Julian Wright, 2012. "Why payment card fees are biased against retailers," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(4), pages 761-780, December.
    2. James J. McAndrews & Zhu Wang, 2008. "The economics of two-sided payment card markets: pricing, adoption and usage," Research Working Paper RWP 08-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. Marc BOURREAU & Marianne VERDIER, 2010. "Cooperation for Innovation in Payment Systems: The Case of Mobile Payments," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(79), pages 95-114, 3rd quart.
    4. Gokhan Guven & Eren Inci & Antonio Russo, 2017. "Apparent Competition in Two-Sided Platforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 6660, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Belleflamme, Paul & Omrani, Nessrine & Peitz, Martin, 2015. "The economics of crowdfunding platforms," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 11-28.
    6. Gomes, Renato & Pavan, Alessandro, 2016. "Many-to-many matching and price discrimination," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    7. Alexander White & E. Glen Weyl, 2010. "Imperfect Platform Competition: A General Framework," Working Papers 10-17, NET Institute, revised Nov 2010.
    8. Sato, Susumu, 2017. "Freemium as Optimal Menu Pricing," MPRA Paper 81599, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Wang, Zhu, 2016. "Price cap regulation in a two-sided market: Intended and unintended consequences," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 28-37.
    10. Bolt, Wilko & Schmiedel, Heiko, 2009. "SEPA, efficiency, and payment card competition," Working Paper Series 1140, European Central Bank.
    11. Nicholas Economides & David Henriques, 2011. "To Surcharge or Not To Surcharge? A Two-Sided Market Perspective of the No-Surcharge Rule," Working Papers 11-03, NET Institute.
    12. Reisinger, Markus, 2014. "Two-part tariff competition between two-sided platforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 168-180.
    13. Andre Veiga & E. Glen Weyl, 2011. "Multidimensional Heterogeneity and Platform Design," Working Papers 11-33, NET Institute, revised Nov 2011.
    14. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:1:p:39-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    16. Ding, Rong, 2014. "Merchant internalization revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(3), pages 347-349.
    17. Weyl, E. Glen, 2009. "Monopoly, Ramsey and Lindahl in Rochet and Tirole (2003)," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 99-100, May.
    18. Reisinger, Markus, 2010. "Unique Equilibrium in Two-Part Tariff Competition between Two-Sided Platforms," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 308, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    19. Paul Heidhues & Botond Kőszegi, 2015. "On the Welfare Costs of Naiveté in the US Credit-Card Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(3), pages 341-354, November.
    20. Verdier, Marianne, 2012. "Interchange fees and inefficiencies in the substitution between debit cards and cash," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 682-696.
    21. Kay, Benjamin S. & Manuszak, Mark D. & Vojtech, Cindy M., 2014. "Bank Profitability and Debit Card Interchange Regulation: Bank Responses to the Durbin Amendment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    22. Krivosheya, Egor & Korolev, Andrew, 2016. "Benefits of the retail payments card market: Russian cardholders' evidence," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 5034-5039.
    23. Anna Creti & Marianne Verdier, 2011. "Fraud, Investments and Liability Regimes in Payment Platforms," EconomiX Working Papers 2011-31, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    payment card networks; interchange fees; merchant fees;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-10-005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ESMT Faculty Publications). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/emstbde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.