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Size Matters: Economies of Scale in European Payment Processing

  • Christine Beijnen
  • Wilko Bolt

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.

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Paper provided by FIW in its series FIW Working Paper series with number 013.

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Length: 20
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wsr:wpaper:y:2008:i:013
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Order Information: Postal: FIW Project Office Austrian Institute of Economic Research Arsenal Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna
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  1. Patrick Van Cayseele & Christophe Wuyts, 2006. "Measuring Scale Economies in a Heterogeneous Industry: The Case of European Settlement Institutions," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
  2. repec:rne:rneart:v:6:y:2007:i:4:p:453-473 is not listed on IDEAS
  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, 2005. "Public good issues in TARGET: natural monopoly, scale economies, network effects and cost allocation," Working Paper Series 0505, European Central Bank.
  5. 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 1004-39, November.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wilko Bolt & David Humphrey, 2007. "Payment network scale economies, SEPA, and cash replacement," Working Papers 07-32, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. 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.
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