nep-pay New Economics Papers
on Payment Systems and Financial Technology
Issue of 2022‒05‒23
twenty-two papers chosen by

  1. Are Cryptocurrencies Currencies? Bitcoin as Legal Tender in El Salvador By Fernando E. Alvarez; David Argente; Diana Van Patten
  2. Facebook Shadow Profiles By Luis Aguiar; Christian Peukert; Maximilian Schaefer; Hannes Ullrich
  3. Copyright Protection in the Digital Single Market By Frank Stähler; Leander Stähler
  4. The Digital Trasformation in the Italian Banking Sector By Davide Arnaudo; Silvia Del Prete; Cristina Demma; Marco Manile; Andrea Orame; Marcello Pagnini; Carlotta Rossi; Paola Rossi; Giovanni Soggia
  5. The State of Digital Financial Services in Francophone West Africa By Jenny Aker; David Carroll
  6. On The Quality Of Cryptocurrency Markets: Centralized Versus Decentralized Exchanges By Andrea Barbon; Angelo Ranaldo
  7. Value Creation by Ad-Funded Platforms By Gregor Langus; Vilen Lipatov
  8. Search Algorithm and Sales on Online Platforms: Evidence from Food Delivery Platforms By Yangguang Huang
  9. Improving Entrepreneurs' Digital Skills and Firms' Digital Competencies through Business Apps Training: A Study of Small Firms By Drydakis, Nick
  10. Mobile payment and application systems for COVID-19 emergency cash transfers in Africa By Lena Gronbach
  11. Social Interactions, Resilience, and Access to Economic Opportunity: A Research Agenda for the Field of Computational Social Science By Theresa Kuchler; Johannes Stroebel
  12. Multi sided platforms in competitive B2B networks with varying governmental influence – a taxonomy of Port and Cargo Community System business models By Tessmann, R.; Elbert, R.
  13. Change of consumers’ attitudes in response to an online privacy violation incident By Bruno Skrinjaric; Jelena Budak; Edo Rajh
  14. (Mis-)information technology: Internet use and perception of democracy in Africa By Joël Cariolle; Yasmine Elkhateeb; Mathilde Maurel
  15. Does mobile money services adoption foster intra-African goods trade? By Fayçal Sawadogo; Abdoul-Akim Wandaogo
  16. Drivers and challenges of internet of things diffusion in smart stores: A field exploration By Michael Roe; Konstantina Spanaki; Athina Ioannou; Efpraxia Zamani; Mihalis Giannakis
  17. The level of digitalization of Italy’s local administrations: north-south differences By Walter Giuzio; Marco Corradetti
  18. United Kingdom: Financial Sector Assessment Program-Some Forward Looking Cross-Sectoral Issues By International Monetary Fund
  19. Understanding drivers of self-service technologies (SSTs) satisfaction and marketing bottom lines: Evidence from Nigeria By Chidera C. Ugwuanyi; Chukwunonso Oraedu; Chuka U. Ifediora; Ernest E. Izogo; Simplice A. Asongu; Ikechukwu J. Attamah
  20. Creativity on the Move: Nexus of Technology, Slack and Social Complexities By Laurent Antonczak; Thierry Burger-Helmchen
  21. Settling Lawsuits with Pirates By Xinyu Hua; Kathryn E. Spier
  22. Investigating day-to-day variability of transit usage on a multimonth scale with smart card data. A case study in Lyon By Oscar Egu; Patrick Bonnel

  1. By: Fernando E. Alvarez; David Argente; Diana Van Patten
    Abstract: This paper studies the potential of a cryptocurrency to become a medium of exchange. We use evidence from a natural experiment: In September 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to make bitcoin legal tender, and all economic agents were required to accept bitcoin for all payments. The Salvadorean government also launched an app, “Chivo Wallet,” which allowed users to digitally trade both bitcoin and dollars, and gave major incentives to download it. We conduct a representative national face-to-face survey to obtain information on bitcoin’s usage and effects. Leveraging this data, we document how, despite the government’s “big push” and a large fraction of people downloading Chivo Wallet, usage of bitcoin for everyday transactions is low and is concentrated among the banked, educated, young, and male population. We also estimate the fixed cost of adopting the new payment technology, the importance of strategic complementarities for users, and the elasticity of substitution between mobile payments and other payment methods.
    JEL: E4 E41 E42
    Date: 2022–04
  2. By: Luis Aguiar; Christian Peukert; Maximilian Schaefer; Hannes Ullrich
    Abstract: Data is often at the core of digital products and services, especially when related to online advertising. This has made data protection and privacy a major policy concern. When surfing the web, consumers leave digital traces that can be used to build user profiles and infer preferences. We quantify the extent to which Facebook can track web behavior outside of their own platform. The network of engagement buttons, placed on third-party websites, lets Facebook follow users as they browse the web. Tracking users outside its core platform enables Facebook to build shadow profiles. For a representative sample of US internet users, 52 percent of websites visited, accounting for 40 percent of browsing time, employ Facebook’s tracking technology. Small differences between Facebook users and non-users are largely explained by differing user activity. The extent of shadow profiling Facebook may engage in is similar on privacy-sensitive domains and across user demographics, documenting the possibility for indiscriminate tracking.
    Keywords: platforms, data, tracking, privacy, Facebook
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Frank Stähler; Leander Stähler
    Abstract: This paper scrutinizes the effects of the European Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market on platform competition in media markets. Platforms that are Online Content-Sharing Service Providers must have a license agreement with collective management organizations that control the content platform users may (or must not) upload to the platform. The paper shows that the new directive may imply market concentration and an aggregate welfare loss. The reason is that only users of the large platform will be allowed to upload content if the content asset controlled by a collective management organization is sufficiently valuable and if network effects are strong.
    Keywords: copyright protection, IPRs, content platforms, trade in services, digital services
    JEL: D43 F12 L86
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Davide Arnaudo (Bank of Italy); Silvia Del Prete (Bank of Italy); Cristina Demma (Bank of Italy); Marco Manile (Bank of Italy); Andrea Orame (Bank of Italy); Marcello Pagnini (Bank of Italy); Carlotta Rossi (Bank of Italy); Paola Rossi (Bank of Italy); Giovanni Soggia (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset based on the results of a survey of almost 280 Italian banks (Regional Bank Lending Survey), this paper presents early evidence on the digital transformation of the Italian banking sector over the period 2007-2018. By building a composite indicator that measures the digital supply of financial services, we show a growth in digitalization over the entire period, with a clear acceleration since 2013. The adoption of digital technologies is not homogeneous across banks and, to an even greater extent, business areas: digitalization started in payment services at the end of the 1990s and then spread to asset management, whereas the use of digital channels in lending is still less frequent. More recently, banks have also implemented new FinTech projects, mainly for digital payments and asset management activities. Lastly, we find a positive correlation between the intensity of technological innovation and bank profitability, and a negative correlation with the number of branches, signalling a potential substitution effect between physical and digital channels.
    Keywords: banking system, Big Data, financial services, FinTech, technological innovation
    JEL: G10 G21 G23 L86 O33
    Date: 2022–04
  5. By: Jenny Aker (Tufts University [Medford]); David Carroll (Tufts University [Medford])
    Abstract: The introduction of digital financial services (DFS) offers new opportunities to reduce the transaction costs associated with money transfers. Over the past decade, the number of DFS deployments has increased substantially, with over 300 deployments worldwide as of 2020. While there is substantial potential for such services to address the constraints to financial inclusion, especially in West Africa, widespread adoption and usage of these services remains relatively concentrated in particular markets. Economic research shows promise in terms of DFS increasing access to money transfers, smoothing consumption and reducing poverty in the long-term, but few studies have more sustained impacts. This can, in part, be explained by the agent network in several countries and the regulatory framework. We conclude by providing recommendations for the further growth of mobile money in West Africa.
    Keywords: West Africa,Digital Financial Services (DFS),Mobile money,Financial inclusion,Agents,Interoperability
    Date: 2022–04–07
  6. By: Andrea Barbon (University of St. Gallen); Angelo Ranaldo (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: Despite the growing adoption of decentralized exchanges, little is known about their market quality. Using a comprehensive dataset, we compare decentralized blockchain-based venues (DEXs) to centralized crypto exchanges (CEXs) assessing two aspects of market quality: price efficiency and market liquidity. We find that CEXs provide better market quality and identify the main friction dampening DEX efficiency as the high gas price stemming from proof-of-work blockchains. We propose and empirically validate a stylized model of DEX liquidity provision, linking trading volume, protocol fees, and liquidity. We identify quantitative conditions needed for DEXs to overtake CEXs in the future.
    Keywords: Decentralized Exchanges, Automated Market Making, Blockchain, Decentralized Finance, Market Quality, Limit Order Book
    JEL: G14
    Date: 2022–04
  7. By: Gregor Langus; Vilen Lipatov
    Abstract: We identify features of interactions on online platforms that make an ad-funded business model attractive for the platform, but also for consumers. We then show that ad-funded platforms heavily rely on data for their ability to create value for their users. Formally, we show that data restrictions may trigger a switch away from ad-funded to fee-funded model, resulting in a loss of consumer welfare. We also argue that restricting the effort to increase data quality weakens competition to the detriment of consumers.
    Keywords: ad-funded business model, data aggregation restrictions, targeted advertising, platform competition, merchant competition, transaction costs
    JEL: K21 L22 L40 M37
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Yangguang Huang (Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: One prominent feature of online sales is that buyers rely on the search tools offered by platforms to process information when searching for products. We develop a model that captures how the search algorithm affects buyers’ search process, which influences the market equilibrium and welfare. The development of online platforms can reduce buyers’ search costs and promote competition among sellers, but a platform may design a search algorithm that is too “selective†from the social welfare perspective, which causes consumers to consider fewer options and suppresses competition. By using data from food delivery platforms, we provide empirical evidence that search algorithms deeply affect restaurant revenues. Markets with more chain restaurants with established brands tend to have more concentrated sales. This is partly caused by search algorithms being biased towards large restaurant chains.
    Keywords: online platform, search algorithm, consideration set, food-delivery platform
    JEL: D83 L11 L13 L42
    Date: 2021–01
  9. By: Drydakis, Nick (Anglia Ruskin University)
    Abstract: The lack of awareness of digital services and outcomes is a concern in business environments since small firms need to improve their digital competencies. The present exploratory study investigated whether business apps training was associated with entrepreneurs' and firms' digital advancements. The business apps training was offered to migrant entrepreneurs running small firms in Athens (Greece) over three months, with data collected before and after the training. The analysis revealed that business apps training was positively associated with entrepreneurs' attitudes toward technology, willingness to change (relating to technology/skills/operations), and internet/digital skills, as well as increased use of business apps. Moreover, the training was positively associated with firms' digital competencies related to communication, networking, social media, customer relationship management, payments, accounting and finance, and project management operations. Furthermore, the business apps training was positively associated with migrant entrepreneurs' integration into Greek society. Given the increased number of migrants in Europe, factors that positively impact their entrepreneurship and integration merit consideration. The study provides researchers with a systematic method for evaluating the association between business app training and entrepreneurs' and firms' digital advancements.
    Keywords: training, entrepreneurs, small firms, business apps, digital skills, digital competencies, artificial intelligence, integration
    JEL: M53 L26 O31 O33
    Date: 2022–04
  10. By: Lena Gronbach (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: COVID-19; cash transfers; digital payment systems; sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2021–02
  11. By: Theresa Kuchler; Johannes Stroebel
    Abstract: We argue that the increasing availability of digital trace data presents substantial opportunities for researchers and policy makers to better understand the importance of social networks and social interactions in fostering economic opportunity and resilience. We review recent research efforts that have studied these questions using data from a wide range of sources, including online social networking platform such as Facebook, call detail record data, and network data from payment systems. We also describe opportunities for expanding these research agendas by using other digital trace data, and discuss various promising paths to increase researcher access to the required data, which is often collected and owned by private corporations.
    Date: 2022
  12. By: Tessmann, R.; Elbert, R.
    Date: 2022–04–26
  13. By: Bruno Skrinjaric (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb); Jelena Budak (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb); Edo Rajh (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb)
    Abstract: This research examines consumers’ attitudes towards the Internet and consumer behavior after they had experienced an online privacy violation incident. This issue is assessed by applying the concept of resilience and coping strategies in reaction to stress. The focus of this empirical research is change in consumers’ attitudes and behavior online. Our analysis is performed on a survey data collected from Croatian Internet users who had experienced online privacy violation. The model was estimated by OLS and order probit method. Results show that highly resilient consumers are more likely to continue to use the Internet as frequently as before an online privacy violation incident or even more frequently. Additionally, consumers with higher resilience are also more likely not to increase their level of cautiousness after an online privacy violation incident and are more likely not to change their attitude towards the Internet. Consumers with higher online privacy awareness and online privacy concern are more likely to increase their cautiousness on the Internet after the online privacy violation incident.
    Keywords: consumer attitudes towards the Internet; consumer behavior; online privacy violation; resilience; Croatia
    JEL: D12 D91
    Date: 2022–04
  14. By: Joël Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Yasmine Elkhateeb (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Cairo University); Mathilde Maurel (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of internet use as a means of accessing news on African citizens' demand for and perception of the supply of democracy. This question is addressed using cross-sectional data from the last three rounds of the Afrobarometer survey for a sample of 25 African countries between 2011 and 2018. Using an instrumental variable approach to control for the possible endogeneity bias between internet use and citizens' perceptions, we found that using the internet to get news has a negative and significant effect on the demand for and on the perceived supply of democracy. The negative effect is channeled through two main factors. The first factor is the confidence in governments and governmental institutions, which is undermined by the use of the internet. In particular, we find that this internet-induced lower confidence translates into a higher probability of engaging in street protests instead of increased political participation. The second driving factor is the (mis-)information channel. On the one hand, we show that internet users' perception of the supply of democracy negatively diverges from experts' ratings. On the other hand, we document further that internet use increases the likelihood of incoherence in the respondent's stance about her demand for democracy. Finally, we show that the negative effect we found is mitigated when the internet is complemented by traditional media sources, especially the radio, to get informed. The findings of this study suggest that internet use is not neutral and tends to undermine citizens' preferences for democracy and alter perceptions about the functioning of political institutions.
    Keywords: Internet news,democracy,Africa
    Date: 2022–03
  15. By: Fayçal Sawadogo (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Abdoul-Akim Wandaogo (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: Using a propensity score matching methodology, we study the causal effect of mobile money services adoption on intra-African goods trade. We find that countries that adopted MM register a higher goods trade share in GDP of about 0.6 percent in comparison to non-adopters.
    Keywords: JEL classification : F10,O23,O33,O55 Mobile money,Goods trade,Impact analysis,Africa
    Date: 2021–02
  16. By: Michael Roe (Loughborough University); Konstantina Spanaki (Audencia Business School); Athina Ioannou (Surrey Business School [Guildford] - UNIS - University of Surrey); Efpraxia Zamani (University of Sheffield [Sheffield]); Mihalis Giannakis (Audencia Business School)
    Abstract: The digitally disruptive environment has evolved rapidly due to the introduction of new advancements within the field of smart applications. Applications of one of the most prominent technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), often appear in the retail sector, where smart services have transformed the customer experience holistically. Presented in this paper are the findings from an exploratory field study in the retail service sector, which drew on the views of experienced practitioners about the smart store experience and the associated changes. The paper presents an overview of the drivers of smart retail service diffusion and the relevant challenges, such as the business expectations and the heterogeneity of devices. The arising themes indicate that IoT security is a major challenge for businesses installing IoT devices in their journey towards smart store transformation. The paper highlights the importance of a secure data-sharing IoT environment that respects customer privacy as the smart experience in-store offers data-driven insights and services. Implications for research and practice are discussed in terms of the customer experience relevant to the identified challenges.
    Keywords: Internet of Things,retail,smart store,security,privacy,diffusion of innovations,field study
    Date: 2022–05
  17. By: Walter Giuzio (Bank of Italy); Marco Corradetti (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper examines indicators of the level of digitalization of local administrations in Italy, identifying differences between the South and the rest of the country. In particular, the paper analyses the following elements: ability to provide online services, basic IT infrastructure, integration of available technologies, governance of innovation processes, and training activities. Italy ranks 18th among 28 European countries for digital public services availability. Only one in three administrations are able to provide services to citizens and businesses through their websites. The South has basic IT infrastructure and systems integration in line with the Centre-North, but scores lower in the provision of online services, governance of innovation and training activities.
    Keywords: e-government, online services, digitalization, governance, public administration.
    JEL: H83 O33 O38
    Date: 2022–04
  18. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The United Kingdom faces significant money laundering threats from foreign criminal proceeds, owing to its status as a global financial center, but the authorities have a strong understanding of these risks. The authorities estimated the realistic possibility of hundreds of billions of pounds of illicit proceeds being laundered in their jurisdiction. The money laundering risks facing the United Kingdom include illicit proceeds from foreign crimes such as transnational organized crime, overseas corruption, and tax crimes. Financial services, trust, and company service providers (TCSPs), accountancy and legal sectors are high-risk for money laundering, with also significant emerging risks coming from cryptoassets. Some Crown Dependencies (CDs) and British Overseas Territories (BOTs) have featured in U.K. money laundering investigations. Brexit and COVID pandemic have an impact upon the money laundering risks in the United Kingdom. The authorities nevertheless have demonstrated a deep and robust experience in assessing and understanding their ML/TF risks. Leveraging technology tools such as big data and machine learning to analyze cross-border payments may add further dimension to their risk assessments. This technical note (TN) will focus on key aspects of the United Kingdom’s anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime: risk-based AML/CFT supervision, entity transparency and international cooperation.
    Keywords: information sharing; financial services markets act; infrastructure regulation; resilience Group; framework review; prudential regulation committee; NIST cyber security framework; Anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT); Cyber risk; Global
    Date: 2022–04–08
  19. By: Chidera C. Ugwuanyi (University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria); Chukwunonso Oraedu (Enugu, Nigeria); Chuka U. Ifediora (Enugu, Nigeria); Ernest E. Izogo (Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Ikechukwu J. Attamah (University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Whilst self-service technologies (SSTs) are novel and evolving, they have rapidly grown popular across various retail service settings. Having been introduced into the Nigerian banking space, the level of customers’ satisfaction from the system is still unknown given that it has disrupted the initial service setup customers were used to. Utilising two theoretical perspectives, this study examined what drives customers’ satisfaction with banks’ SST and further assesses their influence on different marketing bottom lines. The study employed a quantitative approach to sampling 310 banks’ SST users within a popular university in Eastern Nigeria. Using the PLS-SEM technique, the study found that the perceived ease of use and perceived control are strong drivers of SST satisfaction and other marketing bottom lines. Surprisingly, perceived usefulness was found not to influence SST satisfaction, and therefore present a unique result in this context. Based on
    Keywords: Customer behaviour, Customer satisfaction, Technology Acceptance Model, Self-service technologies (SSTs), Stimulus-Response-Organism (S-O-R) Theory, Nigeria
    Date: 2022–01
  20. By: Laurent Antonczak (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Thierry Burger-Helmchen (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: While creativity is most commonly associated with idea generation and problem solving at the individual or team level, it is likewise associated with environments, technologies, tools and artefacts favouring or hindering creative capabilities. Research struggles to bring these elements together. We develop a model for the integration of mobile devices into creative processes. More specifically, we elaborate on existing works on creativity to define how firms can make good use of mobile technology in order to enhance the creativity of their employees. Therefore, we suggest a model revisiting the notion of "creative slack" (with the introduction of the notion of mobile slack, or m-slack) and absorptive capacities, explaining how firms might better integrate digital natives; subsequently, we discuss the managerial and theoretical implications.
    Keywords: Creativity,Mobile device,Affordance,Mobility,Slack
    Date: 2022–03–31
  21. By: Xinyu Hua (Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Kathryn E. Spier (Harvard Law School and NBER)
    Abstract: A firm licenses a product to overlapping generations of heterogeneous consumers. Consumers may purchase the product, pirate/steal it, or forego it. Higher consumer types enjoy higher gross benefits and are caught stealing at a higher rate. In this framework, the firm may commit to an out-of-court settlement policy that is “soft†on pirates, so high-types purchase the product and low-types steal the product until caught and subsequently settle. Settlement contracts, which include both cash payments and licenses for future product use, facilitate price discrimination. License duration is (weakly) longer when property rights are stronger, network externalities are significant, and entry threats exist. Settlement may either create social value by expanding the market or destroy social value by limiting market access and possibly deterring more efficient entrants.
    Date: 2021–02
  22. By: Oscar Egu (LAET - Laboratoire Aménagement Économie Transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Patrick Bonnel (LAET - Laboratoire Aménagement Économie Transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENTPE - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: To examine the variability of travel behaviour over time, transportation researchers need to collect longitudinal data. The first studies around day-to-day variability of travel behaviour were based on surveys. Those studies have shown that there is considerable variation in individual travel behaviour. They have also discussed the implications of this variability in terms of modelling, policy evaluation or marketing. Recently, the multiplication of big data has led to an explosion in the number of studies about travel behaviour. This is because those new data sources collect lots of data, about lots of people over long periods. In the field of public transit, smart card data is one of those big data sources. They have been used by various authors to conduct longitudinal analyses of transit usage behaviour. However, researchers working with smart card data mostly rely on clustering techniques to measure variability, and they often use conceptual framework different from those of transportation researchers familiar with traditional data sources. In particular, there is no study based on smart card data that explicitly measure day-to-day intrapersonal variability of transit usage. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation is to address this gap. To do this, a clustering method and a similarity metric are combined to explore simultaneously interpersonal and intrapersonal variability of transit usage. The application is done with a rich dataset covering a 6 months period (181 days) and it contributes to the growing literature on smart card data. Results of this research confirm previous works based on survey data and show that there is no one size fits all approach to the problem of day-to-day variability of transit usage. They also prove that combining clustering algorithm with day-to-day intrapersonal similarity metric is a valuable tool to mine smart card data. The findings of this study can help in identifying new passenger segmentation and in tailoring information and services.
    Keywords: Public transit,Travel behavior,Smart card data,Passenger clustering,Day-to-day variability,User segmentation
    Date: 2020–04

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