Why don’t most merchants use price discounts to steer consumer payment choice?
Recent legislation and court settlements in the United States allow merchants to use price discounts to steer customers to pay with means of payment that are less costly to merchants. This paper suggests one method of calculating merchants’ change in profit associated with giving price discounts to buyers who pay with debit cards and cash. We use data from the pilot of the Boston Fed’s Diary of Consumer Payment Choice to compute rough estimates of the expected net cost reduction by merchant type that may result from debit card and cash price discounts. We find that steering consumers to debit and cash via price discounts reduces some merchants’ card costs. However, this cost reduction may be insufficient to offset the cost increase of administering price menus that vary by payment instrument. In addition, rewards buyers receive on credit card transactions may exceed the price discounts that merchants can provide. These factors may explain why steering via price discounts is not widely observed.
|Date of creation:||2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02210|
Web page: http://www.bos.frb.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Klee, Elizabeth, 2008. "How people pay: Evidence from grocery store data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 526-541, April.
- Simon, John & Smith, Kylie & West, Tim, 2010.
"Price incentives and consumer payment behaviour,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1759-1772, August.
- John Simon & Kylie Smith & Tim West, 2009. "Price Incentives and Consumer Payment Behaviour," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2009-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Garcia-Swartz Daniel D. & Hahn Robert W. & Layne-Farrar Anne, 2006. "The Move Toward a Cashless Society: A Closer Look at Payment Instrument Economics," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-24, June.
- Christopher R. Knittel & Victor Stango, 2003. "Price Ceilings as Focal Points for Tacit Collusion: Evidence from Credit Cards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1703-1729, December.
- Christopher R. Knittel & Victor Stango, 2001. "Price ceilings as focal points for tacit collusion: evidence from credit cards," Working Paper Series WP-01-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- David Gill & John Thanassoulis, 2016. "Competition in Posted Prices with Stochastic Discounts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(594), pages 1528-1570, 08.
- David Gill & John Thanassoulis, 2013. "Competition in Posted Prices With Stochastic Discounts," Economics Series Working Papers 682, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Arango, Carlos & Huynh, Kim P. & Sabetti, Leonard, 2011. "How do you pay? The role of incentives at the point-of-sale," Working Paper Series 1386, European Central Bank.
- Carlos Arango & Kim Huynh & Leonard Sabetti, 2011. "How Do You Pay? The Role of Incentives at the Point-of-Sale," Staff Working Papers 11-23, Bank of Canada.
- Ron Borzekowski & K. Kiser Elizabeth & Ahmed Shaista, 2008. "Consumers' Use of Debit Cards: Patterns, Preferences, and Price Response," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(1), pages 149-172, 02.
- Ron Borzekowski & Elizabeth K. Kiser & Shaista Ahmed, 2006. "Consumers' use of debit cards: patterns, preferences, and price response," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Robert DeYoung & Ronnie J. Phillips, 2009. "Payday loan pricing," Research Working Paper RWP 09-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Bolt, Wilko & Jonker, Nicole & van Renselaar, Corry, 2010. "Incentives at the counter: An empirical analysis of surcharging card payments and payment behaviour in the Netherlands," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1738-1744, August.
- Wilko Bolt & Nicole Jonker & Corry van Renselaar, 2008. "Incentives at the counter: An empirical analysis of surcharging card payment and payment behaviour in the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 196, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- David Gill & John Thanassoulis, 2013. "Competition in Posted Prices With Bargaining," Economics Series Working Papers 639, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Rochet, Jean Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2008. "Tying in two-sided markets and the honor all cards rule," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1333-1347, November.
- Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2006. "Tying in Two-Sided Markets and the Honor All Cards Rule," IDEI Working Papers 440, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2007.
- Rochet, Jean-Charles & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Tying-in Two-Sided Markets and the Honour All Cards Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 6132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ching, Andrew T. & Hayashi, Fumiko, 2010. "Payment card rewards programs and consumer payment choice," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1773-1787, August.
- Andrew Ching & Fumiko Hayashi, 2006. "Payment card rewards programs and consumer payment choice," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 06-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Ching, Andrew & Hayashi, Fumiko, 2008. "Payment Card Rewards Programs and Consumer Payment Choice," MPRA Paper 8458, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- White, Kenneth J, 1975. " Consumer Choice and Use of Bank Credit Cards: A Model and Cross-Section Results," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 10-18, June.
- Fumiko Hayashi, 2012. "Discounts and surcharges: implications for consumer payment choice," Payments System Research Briefing, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jun.
- Garcia-Swartz Daniel D. & Hahn Robert W. & Layne-Farrar Anne, 2006. "The Move Toward a Cashless Society: Calculating the Costs and Benefits," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-30, June.
- JOHN M. Barron & MICHAEL E. Staten & JOHN Umbeck, 1992. "Discounts For Cash In Retail Gasoline Marketing," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 10(4), pages 89-102, October.
- Scott Schuh & Oz Shy & Joanna Stavins & Robert K. Triest, 2011. "An economic analysis of the 2010 proposed settlement between the Department of Justice and credit card networks," Public Policy Discussion Paper 11-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Schuh, Scott & Stavins, Joanna, 2010. "Why are (some) consumers (finally) writing fewer checks? The role of payment characteristics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1745-1758, August.
- Scott Schuh & Joanna Stavins, 2009. "Why are (some) consumers (finally) writing fewer checks?: the role of payment characteristics," Working Papers 09-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.