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Understanding Payments

Washington Puzzle

The Richmond Fed produces features, reports, and other payments-related analysis to enhance our understanding of the payments system.

Where Cash is King: The Second Participant in the Consumer to Business Payments Study

The Consumer to Business Payments Study (CBPS) collects and analyzes historical transaction level consumer payments data across a variety of industries to identify behavioral trends in consumer payments as well as factors influencing those trends. This paper examines transaction level data from an industry participant and summarizes how payment instrument choice varies in a three-year period.

From Mail to Mobile – A New Generation in Payments

"From Mail to Mobile – A New Generation in Payments" examines data from the Federal Reserve 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, which tracked 2,467 participants who made 12,647 actual consumer payments totaling $453,655 over a rolling three-day period in October of 2012. The analysis focuses on different generations – aged 18 through 94 – and how they made payments, including the median dollar value of payments and the device used.

2012 Payments Fraud Study, Summary of Results

Report on survey of fraud experienced by Fifth District businesses and financial institutions

Will That Be Cash or Cell?

Feature on expanding use of mobile payments and how the Fed is studying this changing environment.

Costs of Keeping Ahead of Counterfeiters 

Feature on currency redesigns and the role of the Richmond Fed’s Currency Technology Office

Coin and Currency in the Casino Industry 

Report on how changes in the gaming industry have changed people’s use of coin and currency in U.S. casinos

The Role of Interchange Fees on Debit and Credit Card Transactions in the Payments System

When consumers use debit or credit cards to make purchases, merchants are assessed fees for processing the transactions, the largest of which is called an "interchange" fee. Rising interchange fees, along with the growing dominance of card transactions in the payments system, have brought increasing scrutiny from regulators on the appropriate level of interchange fees and the competitive aspects of card networks. This Economic Brief looks at the trends, mechanics, and economic role of interchange fees and finds that the issue may be more complicated than it initially appears.

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