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How Effective Are Rewards Programs in Promoting Payment Card Usage? Empirical Evidence

Santiago Carbo Valverde () and José Manuel Liñares-Zegarra ()
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No 201059, Working Papers from Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation

Abstract: Card issuers have mainly relied on rewards programs as their main strategic driver to increase debit and credit card payments. However, there is scarce evidence on the effectiveness of rewards programs. This working paper offers novel evidence on two key issues in this area using unique data from a comprehensive survey of cardholders: 1) it measures the impact of incentive (rewards) programs on the use of debit and credit cards, and 2) it quantifies the economic impact of these programs in terms of the substitution of cash by cards for payment purposes. The results show that rewards may significantly modify preferences for card payments. The evidence also suggests that the economic impact of rewards programs varies significantly across different type of rewards and across merchant activities. These incentives seem to be more effective on average for debit cardholders than for credit cardholders.

Keywords: Payment cards; rewards; preferences; merchants; cardholders. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46
Date: 2009-02
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Journal Article: How effective are rewards programs in promoting payment card usage? Empirical evidence (2011) Downloads
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