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Nothing is free: a survey of the social cost of the main payment instruments in Hungary

Author

Listed:
  • Anikó Turján

    () (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (central bank of Hungary))

  • Éva Divéki

    () (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (central bank of Hungary))

  • Éva Keszy-Harmath

    (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (central bank of Hungary))

  • Gergely Kóczán

    () (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (central bank of Hungary))

  • Kristóf Takács

    () (Magyar Nemzeti Bank (central bank of Hungary))

Abstract

The study applies two approaches for the estimation of the social costs of main payment instruments (cash, debit card and credit card transactions, credit transfers, direct debits, business-to-business direct debits, postal inpayment money orders, postal outpayment money orders for pensions) used in Hungary in 2009. The first approach is based on the current payment structure, while the second approach is based on a more modern, hypothetical payment structure involving less cash, with no use of paper-based methods. In the first approach, the social cost amounts to HUF 388 billion, i.e. 1.49% of the GDP, while in the second approach, such cost amounts to HUF 285 billion, i.e. 1.09% of the GDP. In this context, social cost means the use of all resources (time, materials and money) necessary for the execution of payments, calculated as a net value (i.e. exclusive of fees paid for payment services). Thus, HUF 103 billion could be saved in social costs if the use of payment instruments were to be modified.

Suggested Citation

  • Anikó Turján & Éva Divéki & Éva Keszy-Harmath & Gergely Kóczán & Kristóf Takács, 2011. "Nothing is free: a survey of the social cost of the main payment instruments in Hungary," MNB Occasional Papers 2011/93, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
  • Handle: RePEc:mnb:opaper:2011/93
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schmiedel, Heiko & Bolt, Wilko & Foote, Elizabeth, 2011. "Consumer credit and payment cards," Working Paper Series 1387, European Central Bank.
    2. Jakub Gorka, 2011. "Payment instruments - calculating costs and benefits (Instrumenty platnicze - wycena kosztow i korzysci)," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 9(34), pages 165-182.
    3. Bouhdaoui, Y. & Bounie, D. & Van Hove, L., 2013. "When do plastic bills lower the bill for the central bank? A model and estimates for the U.S," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 45-60.
    4. Jakub Gorka, 2012. "Synthesis of studies on costs of cash and non-cash payment instruments (Synteza badan kosztow gotowki i bezgotowkowych instrumentow platniczych )," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 10(39), pages 223-241.
    5. Nicole Jonker, 2013. "Social costs of POS payments in the Netherlands 2002-2012: Efficiency gains from increased debit card usage," DNB Occasional Studies 1102, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private cost; social cost; net private cost; unit cost; social savings; cash transactions; debit card transactions; credit card transactions; paper-based credit transfers; electronic credit transfers; direct debits; business-to-business direct debits; postal inpayment money orders; postal outpayment money orders for pensions;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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