The Payment Cards Center provides meaningful insights into developments in consumer credit and payments that are of interest not only to the Federal Reserve but also to the industry, other businesses, academia, policymakers, and the public at large. The center carries out its work through an agenda of research and analysis as well as forums and conferences that encourage dialogue incorporating industry, academic, and public-sector perspectives.
To listen to podcasts about the history and evolution of the Payment Cards Center, visit our podcasts page.
For information on all research on consumer credit and payments, go to our Program in Consumer Credit & Payments page.
The Payment Cards Center and the Research Department are cohosting their eighth biennial research conference on topics related to consumer credit and payments.
Discussion Paper Released: Can Credit Cards with Access to Complimentary Credit Score Information Benefit Consumers and Lenders?
Barclaycard U.S. is one of a growing number of banks offering cardholders free access to their FICO® Credit Scores with credit card products. On November 19, 2014, Paul Wilmore of Barclaycard U.S. presented Barclays’ rationale for offering this feature and provided his perspective on its development. He also discussed how consumers responded to this feature in terms of their spending, repayment behavior, and lifespan and intensity of their relationship with the bank. According to Wilmore, program participation is correlated with increased card spending, decreased credit utilization and delinquency, increased digital engagement, and lower cardholder attrition.
Discussion Paper Released: Trends and Preferences in Consumer Payments: Updates from the Visa Payment Panel Study
Michael Marx, senior director, Visa Research Insights, conducted a workshop in 2009 at the Payment Cards Center (PCC) as the economy was emerging from a recession. At that time, it appeared that the recession had affected consumer payment preferences, especially those related to cash and credit cards. To get an update on consumers’ use of the various payment methods, the PCC invited Marx to facilitate another workshop in 2014. More recent findings from the Visa Payment Panel Study reveal declines in cash use — a return to the long-term trend — and increases in credit card use, perhaps signaling some return of confidence among consumers. Check use continued its unbroken long-term decline, and debit card growth has slowed. Private label cards have also registered a steady decline in their share of spending volume for a number of years. Their revolving credit utility, however, remains consequential in financing consumer purchases.
Working Paper Released: Do Student Loan Borrowers Opportunistically Default? Evidence from Bankruptcy Reform
Bankruptcy reform in 2005 eliminated debtors' ability to discharge private student loan debt in bankruptcy. This law aimed to reduce costly defaults by diminishing the perceived incentive of some private student loan borrowers to declare bankruptcy even if they had sufficient income to service their debt. Using a unique, nationally representative sample of anonymized credit bureau files, the authors examine the bankruptcy filing and delinquency rates of private student loan borrowers in response to the 2005 bankruptcy reform. They do not find evidence that the nondischargeability provision reduced the likelihood of filing bankruptcy among private student loan borrowers as compared with other debtors whose incentives were not directly affected by the policy.