Interchange fees in various countries: developments and determinants
Interchange fees and related issues in credit and debit card markets have been the focus of considerable attention in recent years. The academic community has begun to address the economics of these markets. Public officials have begun to address the policy implications of developments in these markets. Meanwhile, these markets continue to experience dynamic change as credit, and especially debit, transactions account for an ever-growing share of overall payments. This paper provides an overview of interchange fee developments and issues in a number of countries. It also presents a preliminary analysis of some possible contributing factors. The principal conclusion of the paper is that interchange arrangements vary considerably across countries, and while existing economic theory provides some insight into fee levels and movements, much remains to be explained. A number of complex and interrelated factors, many country-specific, play a role in interchange developments.
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