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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 FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 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. Charles M. Kahn & William Roberds, 2005. "Credit and identity theft," Working Paper 2005-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Elizabeth Klee, 2006. "Families' use of payment instruments during a decade of change in the U.S. payment system," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & Christopher Waller, 2005. "Money, Credit and Banking," CESifo Working Paper Series 1617, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Evans, David & Schmalensee, Richard, 2005. "The Economics of Interchange Fees and Their Regulation: An Overview," Working papers 18181, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Humphrey David & Willesson Magnus & Lindblom Ted & Bergendahl Göran, 2003. "What Does it Cost to Make a Payment?," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-16, June.
  6. Lacker, Jeffrey M. & Schreft, Stacey L., 1996. "Money and credit as means of payment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 3-23, August.
  7. Antoine Martin & Michael Orlando & David Skeie, 2006. "Payment networks in a search model of money," Staff Reports 263, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. 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.
  9. Irina A. Telyukova & Randall Wright, 2006. "A Model of Money and Credit, with Application to the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," 2006 Meeting Papers 45, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "Money Is Memory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 232-251, August.
  11. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Williamson, Stephen D., 2000. "Money and Dynamic Credit Arrangements with Private Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 248-279, April.
  12. Rochet Jean-Charles & Tirole Jean, 2006. "Externalities and Regulation in Card Payment Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-14, March.
  13. Hunt Robert M., 2003. "An Introduction to the Economics of Payment Card Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-17, June.
  14. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
  15. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "The Payments System, Liquidity, and Rediscounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1126-38, December.
  16. 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.
  17. repec:reg:rpubli:105 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Koeppl, Thorsten & Monnet, Cyril & Temzelides, Ted, 2008. "A dynamic model of settlement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 233-246, September.
  19. Geoffrey R. Gerdes & Jack K. Walton II & May X. Liu & Darrel W. Parke, 2005. "Trends in the use of payment instruments in the United States," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Spr, pages 180-201.
  20. Dean Corbae & Joseph Ritter, 2004. "Decentralized credit and monetary exchange without public record keeping," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 933-951, November.
  21. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
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