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Paying with Plastic: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing (MIT Press) Paperback – December 17, 2004
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Authors Evans and Schmalensee have written the definitive book on the business of bank cards. The reader will come away an expert, with a clear understanding of the business drivers, the players, and the complex issues behind the business of bank cards. This should be required reading for anyone engaged in the bank card industry, from executives at the associations to systems integrators and vendors that service this market.(John C. Gould, Director of Consumer Lending and Bank Cards Practice, TowerGroup)
An excellent treatment of the payment card industry's evolving structure and conduct.(Daniel Pope Enterprise & Society)
Paying with Plastic examines a quiet revolution in the U.S. economy the steady transition from checks and cash to credit, debit, and charge cards. The authors describe the causes and consequences of this transition in terms of economics and law all in plain English that the nonspecialist can understand. This book has become an immensely valuable source on an important subject.(Robert Pitofsky, Joseph and Madeline Sheehy Professor in Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law, and Dean Emeritus, Georgetown Law School, and former Chairman, Federal Trade Commission)
Paying with Plastic is a practical discussion about a complex industry that drives almost $3 trillion in worldwide purchases every year. Evans and Schmalensee illuminate the inner workings of an industry that many know by virtue of the cards we carry in our wallets, but few really understand. It is required reading for anyone who works in, works with, or studies payment cards.(Timothy Muris, Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University, and former Chairman, Federal Trade Commission)
Well-written and clearly presented.(Tudor Marshall The Business Economist)
Evans and Schmalensee's Paying with Plastic provides a rigorous analysis and deep insights about the payment card industry's fascinating institutional features. This book will appeal not only to policy-makers and business executives, but also to the theoretically inclined economist. The second edition incorporates much new material, including recent advances to two-sided market economics (to which the authors have made substantial contributions). A remarkable achievement.(Jean Tirole, Institut d'Economie Industrielle, University of Toulouse)
Top Customer Reviews
It's clear from some of the statistical material prsented that Visa particpated in the book.
Ever see JAG? It's about a real portrayl of the Navy & Marine Corp as this is of the card industry.
Most important, Paying with Plastic "2.0" addresses new developments of online payment processing. The authors correctly begin to question the requirement of a merchant set top box for reading "antiquated magnetic stripes".
"Old is new" item #1. Frank McNamara's Diners Club platform would cost about $50,000 to set up today. What's the next mutiny of merchants?
Old is new item #2. Sears starting up Discover and getting to more merchants tha American Express -all within 2 years. Moore's law (doubling within time) would suggest the next Discover would ramp up in less time.
Old is new #3. Industries in decline, lobby best. The payment industry's recently raised interchange rates. Does technology cost more?! No, but growth is stagnant.
Old is new #4. Whoops, John Reed (ex-ceo of Citibank) pulled their Visa membership (p14) and moved the Mastercard logo to the back. Why?! Pull the entire Citi into a closed loop - Citi wanted to be like Amex and Discover. There will be more banks doing this like Chase (Octogon) or MBNA (PayPass).
Old is new #5. Wal-mart as a bank. See Sears above in #2. Wal-marts pays fees to V/MC/D/Amex but they'd rather charge fees and lend money. Why just make $2.00 on the VCR when you can make $10 on the financing. By the way, I like the payment system name, "Wallycard"... just kidding.
To many a layperson, paper money has intrinsic value ostensibly because it is backed by gold. That, is furthest from the centre of gravity. Since Bretton Woods, paper money has not been backed by gold and has absolutely no value. The "value" of paper money is perceived and has "value" only because governments say so and because we believe in it. In fact, paper money forms only a very small portion of the money that is in circulation. These days, money is in the form of digits, bits and bytes - expressed as numbers in some computer harddisk.
Paying With Plastic explores a new form of money and how credit cards are the latest form of money - evolving from metal coins, bills of exchange, and paper money. The book traces the early and painful development of what was initially a clumsy mode of payment to what is today one of the most effecient, organised and widespread form of payment.
Paying With Plastic is the leading book of its kind - thorough, yet readable. If you are interested in the concept of money and how the credit card system works, then this book is for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Vey basic but covers all the aspect of the credit card world. Also, gives some details about the industry mayor events and the recent developings after the Antitrust litigations... Read morePublished on June 24, 2010 by Oscar Galvez
Good accounting of history of Payments Industry, Having spent 35 years in this industry, I recognize many people, places and events. Easy to read and understand. Read morePublished on June 30, 2009 by Randall R. Wheeler
2nd edition - Outdated. The payment industry is changing and it is not just a US invention. Japan is on the edge of electronic money through your cell phone. Read morePublished on May 6, 2009 by Need more time
If you work in the payments, credit card or finance industry this book is great. It has a very easy to read history about credit cards, who knew Diners Club invented the category... Read morePublished on November 4, 2006 by Dion F. Lisle
I loved this book and how the author talks about the fine points of credit cards and how American consumers got hooked into it. Read morePublished on January 3, 2006 by CaryPraveen14