U.S. Consumer Payment Choice

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1 U.S. Consumer Payment Choice Joanna Stavins Senior Economist and Policy Advisor Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Presented to Northeast Acquirers Association January 21, 2015

2 Disclaimers The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston or the Federal Reserve System Results from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) are preliminary and subject to change 2

3 Presentation Overview Overview of the U.S. payments U.S. Consumer payment choices 1. Adoption: What s in Your Wallet? 2. Use: How Do You Use It? What determines consumer behavior? Concluding remarks 3

4 U.S. Payments: Consumers, Businesses, and Government 4

5 % of GDP U.S. Currency in Circulation Total Domestic (estimate) Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis / Haver Analytics, Federal Reserve Board / Haver Analytics, authors calculations. 5

6 Billions per year Number of Noncash Payments Checks Checks + Debit + ACH Debit Prepaid Credit ACH Source: Federal Reserve Payment Study (FRPS) 6

7 % of payments Share of Noncash Payments Checks + Debit + ACH Checks Debit Credit ACH Prepaid Source: Federal Reserve Payment Study (FRPS). 7

8 What s in Your Wallet? U.S. consumers only 8

9 Cash Holdings (2013) Mean ($) Median ($) Total On person (wallet, purse) On property

10 Number of Instruments More Payment Instruments to Choose From Charge cards 7 Credit cards 9 8 BANP Debit cards 10 Prepaid cards (closed-loop) Virtual currencies 14 Virtual (open loop) currencies OBBP (closed loop) 12 Mobile text/sms Prepaid cards (open-loop) Cash Checks Money order Travelers checks Prepaid paper (closed-loop) Source: Author s research. 0

11 % of Consumers Aggregate Adoption of Payment Instruments Checking account Credit Debit Cash Checks BANP OBBP Traveler s checks Prepaid Money order Source: Survey of Consumer Payment Choice; Survey of Consumer Finance 11

12 How Do You Use It? 12

13 Use of Payment Instruments (2013) Electronic 9% Debit 31% Prepaid 1% OBBP 4% BANP 5% Cash 27% Paper 35% Check 8% Cards 55% Credit 23% Money order 1% Note: 1% are paid with Other 13

14 # of transactions per consumer Payments by $ amount % % 27% 19% 66% 33% 30% 31% 24% 18% 45% 24% 17% 24% 20% 16% $0 to $10 $10 to $25 $25 to $50 $50 to $100 over $100 Cash Check Credit Debit Electronic Other 14

15 Payments by Transaction Type (2013) Non-bills 45.7% Services Online payment (not bill) Person to person By mail or in person (bill) Bills 32.8% Automatic bill pay Retail goods Online bill payment Survey of Consumer Payment Choice

16 Credit Cards: Consumers 2013 % of households with credit cards 68.0% % of credit cards households carrying a balance 38.1% Median balance among households with a balance $2,300 Source: 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) 16

17 Mobile Banking and Payments Mobile phone adoption Smart phone adoption Mobile banking adoption Mobile payments use Source: Survey of Consumer Payment Choice 17

18 What Determines Consumer Payment Behavior? 18

19 What Affects Demand for Payments? Demographics: Age Gender Race Education Income: individual and household Characteristics of payments: Security: risk of theft/loss Acceptance Cost Convenience Speed 19

20 % of consumers within each income group Credit Card Adoption Rises with Income (2013) Under $25K $25 - $50K $50K - $75K $75K - $100K $100K - $125K Over $125K Income 20

21 Weighted Mean Share (%) Credit Score and Payment Card Use Debit Credit below to to to to 800 over 800 FICO Ranges From Hayashi and Stavins (2012), Effects of Credit Scores on Consumer Payment Choice 21

22 Security Is Most Important! Ranking of all characteristics Characteristics SCPC survey year Security Convenience Cost Acceptance Payment records Set up Control of timing 3 Speed 7 22

23 Importance of Payment Characteristics (2012) Most Important Important Security Convenience Cost Acceptance Records Set Up % of consumers 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice 23

24 Security Ratings by Payment Instrument Very risky Risky Neither risky nor secure Secure Very secure Cash Check Debit Card Credit Card Prepaid Card 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% % of consumers 24

25 Security by Payment Location In Person By Mail By Phone Computer Internet Mobile Text 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% % of consumers Very Risky Risky Neither Secure Very Secure 25 Source: 2012 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice;

26 Security by Type of Debit PIN Signature Neither Online 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% % of consumers Very risky Risky Neither Secure Very Secure 26

27 Payment Method Adoption and Use Higher debit and credit security higher use, BUT: small effect Adoption Debit Credit Prepaid Acceptance * * *** Cost *** *** Convenience *** *** Set up *** *** Records *** *** Security of financial wealth ** * Security of personal information * Security of transaction information Use Debit Credit Prepaid Cost * *** Convenience *** *** Records * Security of financial wealth *** *** ** Security of personal information * Security of transaction information * 27

28 Merchant Steering Merchants are now allowed to discount or surcharge based on payment method BUT: still very rare, only selected markets % transactions with discount or surcharge: Cash Discount Debit Discount Credit Surcharge Source: 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice 28

29 % Discounted % Cash Transactions with Discount Transactions over $20 more likely to get cash discount $ Value 29

30 Concluding remarks 30

31 Major trends Cash is alive and well, checks declining Transformation in payment markets Paper electronic Consumer preferences, technology, coordination Technology is changing fast but payments are not Battle over payment card revenues Credit CARD Act of 2009 Interchange fee regulation for debit cards (Reg II) Merchants can steer consumers to cheaper payments 31

32 Federal Reserve strategic plan Planned improvements to U.S. payment system Faster: deduction and notification time Safer: less fraud, loss, and data breaches EMV finally implemented? Improved cyber security? More attention to end users Consumers, businesses, nonprofits 32

33 Consumer Payments Research Center (CPRC) Find papers, articles, and data on consumer payments Joanna Stavins Senior Economist and Policy Advisor Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 33

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