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How do people pay rent?

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  • Zhang, David Hao

    () (Harvard University)

Abstract

Using data from the 2014 Boston Fed Bill Payment Experiment and the 2014 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC), we investigate how households pay their rent. We find that the dominant methods for paying rent are cash (22 percent), check (42 percent), and money order (16 percent). Electronic methods are still rarely used, at 8 percent for bank account number payment and 7 percent for online banking bill payment, and less than 2 percent for debit and credit cards. Compared with other large bill payments of more than $200, rental payments are much more likely to be made with paper-based methods than with electronic methods and are much less likely to be automatic, despite the recent attempts by start-ups to make it easier for landlords to accept electronic payments. Check and electronic methods are more frequently used for higher-valued transactions and by those with higher income and education.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, David Hao, 2016. "How do people pay rent?," Research Data Report 16-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbdr:16-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Scott Schuh & Joanna Stavins, 2012. "How consumers pay: adoption and use of payments," Working Papers 12-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    payment instrument choice; rental payment; rent;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other

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