Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2008 (Revised July 2011)

Consumer Payment Systems — United States

by Benjamin Edelman and Andrei Hagiu


In 2008, the U.S. consumer payments landscape was characterized by the ongoing prevalence of credit and debit card networks, the decline of checks, the rise of stored value cards, and the growth of new payment methods such as PayPal, Bill Me Later, and decoupled debit. This case presents the structure of these payment methods, focusing on incentives for both consumers and merchants, including direct costs, efficiency benefits, rebates, and treatment in case of loss or fraud.

Keywords: Borrowing and Debt; Financial Management; Personal Finance; Market Platforms; Motivation and Incentives; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; United States;


Edelman, Benjamin, and Andrei Hagiu. "Consumer Payment Systems — United States." Harvard Business School Case 909-006, August 2008. (Revised July 2011.) (request a courtesy copy.)