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Credit and the no-surcharge rule

  • Cyril Monnet
  • William Roberds

A controversial aspect of payment cards has been the “no-surcharge rule.” This rule, which is part of the contract between the card provider and a merchant, states that the merchant cannot charge a customer who pays by card more than a customer who pays by cash. In this paper we consider the design of an optimal card-based payment system when cash is available as an alternative means of payment. We find that a version of the no-surcharge rule emerges as a natural and advantageous feature of such a system.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2006-25.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-25
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  1. 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.
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  14. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Haslag, Joseph & Russell, Steven, 2005. "The role of money in two alternative models: When is the Friedman rule optimal, and why?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1401-1433, November.
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  21. Dean Corbae & Joseph Ritter, 2004. "Decentralized credit and monetary exchange without public record keeping," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 933-951, November.
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