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Optimal Payment Cards Fees

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  • Assaf Eilat

    (Stanford University)

Abstract

Credit card rebates, which are paid to all credit card users regardless of borrowing, have grown substantially. This paper analyzes this phenomenon by comparing the socially and privately optimal interchange fees in debit and credit cards. Compared to debit cards, credit cards raise efficiency by allowing convenient borrowing, but also tax nonholders in order to finance the rebates paid to credit card users. A welfare enhancing and legally feasible policy is suggested, under which the regressive tax is cancelled while the efficiencies of credit cards are preserved. An outcome of the proposed policy is that credit cards are used for credit purposes only, while debit cards are used as a convenient payment instrument.

Suggested Citation

  • Assaf Eilat, 2007. "Optimal Payment Cards Fees," Discussion Papers 06-019, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:06-019
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    File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/06-019.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wright, Julian, 2003. "Pricing in debit and credit card schemes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 305-309, September.
    2. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
    3. Julian Wright, 2004. "The Determinants of Optimal Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-26, March.
    4. Stuart E. Weiner & Julian Wright, 2005. "Interchange fees in various countries : developments and determinants," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 5-49.
    5. Gans Joshua S & King Stephen P, 2003. "The Neutrality of Interchange Fees in Payment Systems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    6. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-122, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Wright, Julian, 2003. "Optimal card payment systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 587-612, August.
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    10. Chakravorti, Sujit & To, Ted, 2007. "A theory of credit cards," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 583-595, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit card rebate; debit card; interchange fee;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection

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