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David Humphrey

26 July 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 506
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Abstract
Target is a real time gross settlement (RTGS) large value payment network operated by European central banks that eliminates systemic risk. Euro1 is a privately operated delayed net settlement (DNS) network that reduces substantially systemic risk but does not eliminate it. This difference makes RTGS networks more expensive to users even if both networks had the same unit operating costs. This provides an incentive for users to shift payments to the more risky network in normal times and back to Target in times of financial market disruption. The estimated extra cost to a DNS network from posting collateral sufficient to cover all exposures (and eliminate systemic risk) is from 15 to 42 cents per transaction. If full cost recovery on an RTGS system were reduced by this amount, user collateral costs but not risks would be equalized between networks. Full collateralization on DNS networks equalizes both user costs and risks.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
H23 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→Externalities, Redistributive Effects, Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
H41 : Public Economics→Publicly Provided Goods→Public Goods
26 July 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 505
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Abstract
This paper discusses various theoretic concepts which play a role in assessing the public benefits of Target, the large value RTGS payment network operated by the Eurosystem. These concepts touch upon natural monopoly, network externalities, competition and contestability, as well as economies of scale and scope. The existence of a natural monopoly provides a rationale for a temporary partial or full subsidy in order for Target to achieve the 'most efficient scale' or apply the most efficient technology to lower unit costs. Such a subsidy could be implemented through temporary 'penetration' pricing. Based on empirical results for the Federal Reserve's payment system (Fedwire), it is further argued that if Target decided to standardize its operating platforms and consolidate its processing sites into one or a few centers, it too could realize strong scale economy benefits and lower unit costs.
JEL Code
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
H41 : Public Economics→Publicly Provided Goods→Public Goods
L10 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→General
30 December 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1136
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Abstract
Payment scale economies affect banking costs, competition in payment services, and pricing. Our scale measure relates operating cost to physical measures of European banking "output", finding large economies. This differs from relating total cost to the value of balance sheet assets (the conventional approach). Interest expenses are excluded since differences here are primarily due to mix, not scale. Also, since standard indicators of competition can give inconsistent results, a revenue-based frontier measure is developed and applied to European banks, with little difference evident across countries. Existing differences in bank prices (EC report) are associated with small differences in competition.
JEL Code
E41 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Demand for Money
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
Network
Retail payments: integration & innovation
24 April 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1539
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Abstract
Banks supply payment services that underpin the smooth operation of the economy. To ensure an efficient payment system, it is important to maintain competition among payment service providers but data available to gauge the degree of competition are quite limited. We propose and implement a frontierbased method to assess relative competition in bank-provided payment services. Billion dollar banks account for around ninety percent of assets in the US and those with around to billion in assets turn out to be both the most and the least competitive in payment services, not the very largest banks.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
L80 : Industrial Organization→Industry Studies: Services→General
L00 : Industrial Organization→General→General