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Effects of credit scores on consumer payment choice

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  • Fumiko Hayashi
  • Joanna Stavins

Abstract

Anecdotally, a negative relationship between the use of debit cards and credit scores has been reported: Consumers with lower credit scores use debit cards more intensively than those with higher credit scores. However, it is not clear whether credit scores have real effects on consumer payment choice or whether the negative relationship is caused by other factors, such as education or income. ; If credit scores have real effects, a negative relationship between debit card use and credit scores could imply supply-side effects, demand-side effects, or a combination of both. If credit scores significantly influence consumer access to credit cards, credit limit, or the cost of credit cards, then the negative relationship likely results from supply-side constraints. If a lower credit score is associated with differences in underlying consumer tastes and preferences for payment methods, then the negative relationship is likely due to demand-side effects. ; In this paper, we investigate the effects of credit scores on consumer payment behavior, especially on debit and credit card use. Because we find that credit scores have real effects, we investigate what credit scores imply. Preliminary evidence strongly suggests that supply-side factors play an important role in the cost of credit and in access to credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Fumiko Hayashi & Joanna Stavins, 2012. "Effects of credit scores on consumer payment choice," Research Working Paper RWP 12-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp12-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zinman, Jonathan, 2009. "Debit or credit?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 358-366, February.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert B. Avery & Kenneth P. Brevoort & Glenn Canner, 2012. "Does Credit Scoring Produce a Disparate Impact?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 40, pages 65-114, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Hayashi Fumiko & Klee Elizabeth, 2003. "Technology Adoption and Consumer Payments: Evidence from Survey Data," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-16, June.
    6. Marc Rysman, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of Payment Card Usage," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-002, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Nicole Jonker, 2005. "Payment Instruments as Perceived by Consumers - a Public Survey," DNB Working Papers 053, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. 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, February.
    10. 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.
    11. Brian Mantel, 2000. "Why do consumers pay bills electronically? an empirical analysis," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 32-48.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fumiko Hayashi, 2013. "The new debit card regulations: effects on merchants, consumers, and payments system efficiency," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 89-118.
    2. Dotsey, Michael & Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A., 2016. "Interest rates and prices in an inventory model of money with credit," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 71-89.

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