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Plastic Clashes: Competition Among Closed and Open Payment Systems

  • Fabio Maria Manenti

    ()

    (University of Padua)

  • Ernesto Somma

    ()

    (University of Bari and Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri)

This paper analyses market competition between two different types of payment schemes: card associations and proprietary systems. The main focus is on the role of the collective setting of the interchange fee by members of the association. We describe the sterilising role of the interchange fee: when the interchange fee is set so as to maximise the sum of issuers' and acquirers' profits, the equilibrium values of platforms' profits, of the sum of the fees charged by each platform and their market shares are independent of the competitive conditions within the associated members on the two sides of the market and are affected by the strength of inter-platform competition. We also show that the privately set interchange fee is socially inefficient, although this is not due to anticompetitive reasons.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0111.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0111
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  1. Rochet Jean-Charles, 2003. "The Theory of Interchange Fees: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-28, June.
  2. Sujit Chakravorti & Roberto Roson, 2004. "Platform competition in two-sided markets: the case of payment networks," Working Paper Series WP-04-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Triole, 2002. "Platform Competition in Two Sided Markets," FMG Discussion Papers dp409, Financial Markets Group.
  4. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Economics of payment cards: a status report," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 15-27.
  5. Nicholas Economides, . "Network Economics with Application to Finance," Financial Networks _004, Economics of Networks.
  6. Geoffrey G. Parker & Marshall W. Van Alstyne, 2005. "Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1494-1504, October.
  7. Bolt, Wilko & Tieman, Alexander F., 2008. "Heavily skewed pricing in two-sided markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1250-1255, September.
  8. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-28, Summer.
  9. Mark Armstrong, 2006. "Competition in two‐sided markets," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 668-691, 09.
  10. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P., 2003. "Approaches to Regulating Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-21, June.
  11. Baxter, William F, 1983. "Bank Interchange of Transactional Paper: Legal and Economic Perspectives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 541-88, October.
  12. Richard Schmalensee, 2001. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," NBER Working Papers 8256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Julian Wright, 2001. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Industrial Organization 0108001, EconWPA.
  14. Graeme Guthrie & Julian Wright, 2007. "COMPETING PAYMENT SCHEMES -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 37-67, 03.
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