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Consumer choice and merchant acceptance of payment media

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  • Wilko Bolt
  • Sujit Chakravorti

Abstract

We study the ability of banks and merchants to influence the consumer's payment instrument choice. Consumers participate in payment card networks to insure themselves against three types of shocks -- income, theft, and their merchant match. Merchants choose which payment instruments to accept based on their production costs and increased profit opportunities. Our key results can be summarized as follows. The structure of prices is determined by the level of the bank's cost to provide payment services including the level of aggregate credit loss, the probability of theft, and the timing of income inflows. We also identify equilibria where the bank finds it profitable to offer one or both payment cards. Our model predicts that when merchants are restricted to charging a uniform price for goods that they sell, the bank benefits while consumers and merchants are worse off. Finally, we compare welfare-maximizing price structures to those that result from the bank's profit-maximizing price structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Consumer choice and merchant acceptance of payment media," Working Paper Series WP-08-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-08-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Humphrey, David B., 2004. "Replacement of cash by cards in US consumer payments," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 211-225.
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    9. Bolt, Wilko & Tieman, Alexander F., 2008. "Heavily skewed pricing in two-sided markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1250-1255, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Chakravorti Sujit & Roson Roberto, 2006. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets: The Case of Payment Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, March.
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    19. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
    20. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Ping He & Lixin Huang & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money And Banking In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 637-670, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Economics of payment cards: a status report," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 15-27.
    3. 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.
    4. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2011. "Pricing in Retail Payment Systems: A Public Policy Perspective on Pricing of Payment Cards," DNB Working Papers 331, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Choi, Hyung Sun, 2014. "Money, credit, risk of loss, and limited participation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 9-23.
    6. 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.
    7. Schmiedel, Heiko & Bolt, Wilko & Foote, Elizabeth, 2011. "Consumer credit and payment cards," Working Paper Series 1387, European Central Bank.
    8. Wilko Bolt, 2012. "Retail Payment Systems: Competition, Innovation, and Implications," DNB Working Papers 362, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. Anneke Kosse, 2013. "The Safety of Cash and Debit Cards: A Study on the Perception and Behavior of Dutch Consumers," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(4), pages 77-98, December.
    10. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Wright, Julian, 2010. "Credit card interchange fees," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1788-1797, August.
    11. Kosse, Anneke, 2013. "Do newspaper articles on card fraud affect debit card usage?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5382-5391.
    12. Jonker Nicole, 2011. "Card Acceptance and Surcharging: the Role of Costs and Competition," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, June.
    13. He, Ping & Huang, Lixin & Wright, Randall, 2008. "Money, banking, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1013-1024, September.
    14. Creti, Anna & Verdier, Marianne, 2014. "Fraud, investments and liability regimes in payment platforms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 84-93.
    15. Bolt, Wilko & Schmiedel, Heiko, 2009. "SEPA, efficiency, and payment card competition," Working Paper Series 1140, European Central Bank.
    16. repec:eee:quaeco:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:378-387 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    18. 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.
    19. Wilko Bolt & Heiko Schmiedel, 2013. "Pricing of payment cards, competition, and efficiency: a possible guide for SEPA," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-25, February.
    20. Sumit Agarwal & Sujit Chakravorti & Anna Lunn, 2010. "Why do banks reward their customers to use their credit cards?," Working Paper Series WP-2010-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    21. Choi, Hyung Sun, 2013. "Money and risk of loss in an asset market segmentation model," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 146-155.
    22. Carin van der Cruijsen & Mirjam Plooij, 2015. "Changing payment patterns at point-of-sale: their drivers," DNB Working Papers 471, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    23. Santiago Carbó Valverde & Sujit Chakravorti & Francisco Rodríguez-Fernández, 2009. "Regulating two-sided markets: an empirical investigation," Working Paper Series WP-09-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    24. repec:mnb:finrev:v:17:y:2018:i:1:p:83-109 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payment systems ; Credit cards ; Consumer credit;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets

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