Working Paper 2019-19a
October 2019 (revised December 2020)
This article investigates the degree to which buyers choose to diversify their use of payment methods for in-person purchases. Some buyers use only one payment instrument. Others combine the use of mostly cash, credit, and debit cards, and a few paper checks and prepaid cards. To each survey respondent, I apply three concentration and inequality measures over the use of payment instruments. Results show that the average and median degree of consumers' payment concentration only slightly decline with payment volume and exhibit almost no correlation with consumer demographics.
JEL classification: D9, E42
Key words: multiple payment methods, consumer payment choice, payment instruments, in-person purchases, concentration and inequality measures
The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the author’s responsibility.
Please address questions regarding content to Oz Shy, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.
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