Digitization of Retail Payments

Wilko Bolt and Sujit Chakravorti

in The Oxford Handbook of the Digital Economy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195397840
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Digitization of Retail Payments


This article reports the research on electronic payment systems. Debit, credit, and prepaid are three forms of payment card. The rapid growth in the use of electronic payment instruments, especially payment cards, is a striking feature of most modern economies. Payment data indicate that strong scale economies exist for electronic payments. Payment costs can be decreased through consolidation of payment processing operations to realize economies of scale. Competition does not necessarily enhance the balance of prices for two-sided markets. The ability of merchants to charge different prices is a powerful incentive to convince consumers to use a certain payment instrument. The effect of interventions in Australia, Spain, the European Union, and the United States is dealt with. The theoretical literature on payment cards continues to grow. However, there are a few areas of payment economics that deserve greater attention.

Keywords: debit cards; credit cards; prepaid cards; payment economics; payment cards; Australia; Spain; European Union; United States

Article.  12321 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Economic Development and Growth

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