Why do card issuers charge proportional fees?
This paper explains why payment card companies charge consumers and merchants fees which are proportional to the transaction values instead of charging a fixed per-transaction fee. Our theory shows that, even in the absence of any cost considerations, card companies earn much higher profit when they charge proportional fees. It is also shown that competition among merchants reduces card companies' gains from using proportional fees relative to a fixed per-transaction fee. Merchants are found to be the losers from proportional fees whereas consumer and social welfare are invariant with respect to the two types of fees. ; Also issued as a Payments System Research Working Paper.
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- Zhu Wang, 2008. "Market structure and credit card pricing: what drives the interchange?," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 06-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- James J. McAndrews & Zhu Wang, 2012.
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12-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- James J. McAndrews & Zhu Wang, 2008. "The economics of two-sided payment card markets: pricing, adoption and usage," Research Working Paper RWP 08-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Rochet Jean-Charles & Tirole Jean, 2003. "An Economic Analysis of the Determination of Interchange Fees in Payment Card Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-11, June.
- Fumiko Hayashi & Zhu Wang, 2009. "Product innovation and network survival in the U.S. ATM and debit card network industry," Research Working Paper RWP 08-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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