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Size Matters: Economies of Scale in European Payment Processing

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  • Christine Beijnen
  • Wilko Bolt

Abstract

This paper investigates the existence and extent of economies of scale in the European payment processing industry. It is expected that the creation of a Single European Payments Area (SEPA) will spur consolidations and mergers among European payment processors to more fully realize payment economies of scale. We find evidence for the existence of significant economies of scale using data of eight European payment processors during the years 1990-2005. The analysis also reveals that ownership structure is an important factor to explain cost differences across European ACHs.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Beijnen & Wilko Bolt, 2008. "Size Matters: Economies of Scale in European Payment Processing," FIW Working Paper series 013, FIW.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsr:wpaper:y:2008:i:013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Patrick van Cayseele & Christophe Wuyts, 2006. "Measuring Scale Economies in a Heterogeneous Industry: The Case of European Settlement Institutions," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 2006/3 edited by Morten Balling.
    2. Bauer, Paul W & Ferrier, Gary D, 1996. "Scale Economies, Cost Efficiencies, and Technological Change in Federal Reserve Payments Processing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 1004-1039, November.
    3. Humphrey, David & Willesson, Magnus & Bergendahl, Goran & Lindblom, Ted, 2006. "Benefits from a changing payment technology in European banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1631-1652, June.
    4. Bolt Wilko & Humphrey David, 2007. "Payment Network Scale Economies, SEPA, and Cash Replacement," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(4), pages 1-21, December.
    5. Bolt, Wilko & Humphrey, David, 2005. "Public good issues in TARGET: natural monopoly, scale economies, network effects and cost allocation," Working Paper Series 505, European Central Bank.
    6. Hancock, Diana & Humphrey, David B. & Wilcox, James A., 1999. "Cost reductions in electronic payments: The roles of consolidation, economies of scale, and technical change," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2-4), pages 391-421, February.
    7. repec:bpj:rneart:v:6:y:2007:i:4:p:453-473 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Guibourg, Gabriela & Segendorff, Bjorn, 2007. "A note on the price- and cost structure of retail payment services in the Swedish banking sector 2002," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 2817-2827, September.
    9. Schmiedel, Heiko & Malkamaki, Markku & Tarkka, Juha, 2006. "Economies of scale and technological development in securities depository and settlement systems," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1783-1806, June.
    10. Robert M. Adams & Paul W. Bauer & Robin C. Sickles, 2002. "Scope and scale economies in Federal Reserve payment processing," Working Paper 0213, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bourreau, Marc & Verdier, Marianne, 2010. "Private cards and the bypass of payment systems by merchants," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1798-1807, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Bolt, Wilko & Humphrey, David, 2010. "Bank competition efficiency in Europe: A frontier approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1808-1817, August.
    4. Maximilian J. B. Hall & Richard Simper, 2013. "Efficiency and competition in Korean banking," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(10), pages 881-890, May.
    5. Bolt, Wilko & Jonker, Nicole & van Renselaar, Corry, 2010. "Incentives at the counter: An empirical analysis of surcharging card payments and payment behaviour in the Netherlands," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1738-1744, August.
    6. Nicole Jonker & Mirjam Plooij & Johan Verburg, 2015. "Does a public campaign influence debit card usage? Evidence from the Netherlands," DNB Working Papers 470, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    7. Li, Shaofang & MarinĨ, Matej, 2016. "Competition in the clearing and settlement industry," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 134-162.
    8. repec:eee:intfin:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:17-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Pokutta, Sebastian & Schmaltz, Christian, 2011. "Managing liquidity: Optimal degree of centralization," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 627-638, March.
    10. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:38-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Humphrey, David, 2009. "Payment scale economies, competition, and pricing," Working Paper Series 1136, European Central Bank.
    12. Humphrey, David B., 2010. "Retail payments: New contributions, empirical results, and unanswered questions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1729-1737, August.
    13. Iftekhar Hasan & Heiko Schmiedel & Liang Song, 2012. "Returns to Retail Banking and Payments," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 163-195, June.
    14. Docherty, Peter & Wang, Gehong, 2010. "Using synthetic data to evaluate the impact of RTGS on systemic risk in the Australian payments system," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 103-117, June.
    15. Bolt, Wilko & Schmiedel, Heiko, 2009. "SEPA, efficiency, and payment card competition," Working Paper Series 1140, European Central Bank.
    16. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2010. "Digitization of Retail Payment," DNB Working Papers 270, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    17. Hasan, Iftekhar & Schmiedel, Heiko & Song, Liang, 2010. "Return from retail banking and payments," Research Discussion Papers 3/2010, Bank of Finland.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payment Scale Economies; SEPA; ACHs; ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money

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