Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Consumer Preferences and Market Structure in Credit Card Markets: Evidence from Turkey

By: G. Gulsun Akin (Bogazici University); Ahmet Faruk AysanEzgi ÖzerLevent Yildiran
Abstract: Using a discrete choice random utility model and unique data from a nationwide consumer survey, we show that consumers view credit cards as highly differentiated products with both bank-level and card-level nonprice features. They select their credit cards by predominantly considering these nonprice features. Although they charge higher prices, the majority of consumers choose private banks as issuers due to their bank-level and card-level nonprice benefits. Consumers who prioritize prices tend to choose participation or public banks. Product differentiation and bundling seem to underlie banks’ market power in the Turkish credit card market. Large private banks and public banks reap the benefits of bundling more than the other banks. Of card-level nonprice features, installments, bonuses/rewards/miles, and the prestige of the card seem to be particularly effective in consumers’ decisions. We argue that this highly differentiated nature of credit cards can be an alternative explanation for the credit card pricing puzzles.

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