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Consumer Payment Preferences, Network Externalities, and Merchant Card Acceptance: An Empirical Investigation

Listed author(s):
  • David Bounie
  • Abel François

    (LEM - Lille - Economie et Management - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies - Université Catholique de Lille - Université de Lille, Sciences Humaines et Sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Leo Van Hove

The two-sided market theory holds that consumer adoption and merchant acceptance of payment cards are interdependent. However, empirical evidence on such network externalities is scarce, especially for the merchant side. This paper addresses this issue by examining merchant card acceptance in France. We exploit shopping diary data to construct a novel and fine-grained measure of French consumers’ payment preferences and match these with data from a nation-wide merchant survey. Controlling for (among other factors) cost, degree of competition, and customer characteristics, we find that the higher the probability that the average basket of a merchant is paid for by card in shops in the same sector and region, the higher the probability that the merchant will accept cards. In other words, we find that consumer preferences drive merchant card acceptance, which underpins the existence of network externalities on the merchant side of the payment card market.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-01533532.

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Date of creation: Sep 2016
Publication status: Published in Review of Industrial Organization, Springer US, 2016, <10.1007/s11151-016-9543-y>
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01533532
DOI: 10.1007/s11151-016-9543-y
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01533532
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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  1. Loke Yiing Jia, 2007. "Determinants of Merchant Participation in Credit Card Payment Schemes," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(4), pages 1-21, December.
  2. John Bagnall & David Bounie & Kim P. Huynh & Anneke Kosse & Tobias Schmidt & Scott Schuh, 2016. "Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(4), pages 1-61, December.
  3. Yassine Bouhdaoui & David Bounie, 2012. "Modeling the Share of Cash Payments in the Economy: An Application to France," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(4), pages 175-195, December.
  4. 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.
  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. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
  7. Whitesell, William C, 1989. "The Demand for Currency versus Debitable Accounts: A Note," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 246-257, May.
  8. Carlos Arango & Kim Huynh & Ben Fung & Gerald Stuber, 2012. "The Changing Landscape for Retail Payments in Canada and the Implications for the Demand for Cash," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2012(Autumn), pages 31-40.
  9. Marc Rysman, 2009. "The Economics of Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 125-143, Summer.
  10. Sergei Koulayev & Marc Rysman & Scott Schuh & Joanna Stavins, 2016. "Explaining adoption and use of payment instruments by US consumers," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(2), pages 293-325, 05.
  11. Carlos Arango & Varya Taylor, 2008. "Merchant Acceptance, Costs, and Perceptions of Retail Payments: A Canadian Survey," Discussion Papers 08-12, Bank of Canada.
  12. Jean‐Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Must‐Take Cards: Merchant Discounts And Avoided Costs," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 462-495, 06.
  13. Nicole Jonker & Anneke Kosse & Lola Hernández, 2012. "Cash usage in the Netherlands: How much, where, when, who and whenever one wants?," DNB Occasional Studies 1002, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  14. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
  15. Marc Rysman, 2007. "AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF PAYMENT CARD USAGE -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-36, 03.
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