Recent Articles

Driver of Choice? The Cost of Financial Products for Unbanked Consumers

By Fumiko Hayashi, Josh Hanson and Jesse Leigh Maniff

RESEARCH WORKING PAPERPrepaid cards are significantly less costly than checking accounts for unbanked consumers who make overdrafts or need short-term loans, but prepaid cards are more costly for the other unbanked consumers.

Did Saving Wall Street Really Save Main Street? The Real Effects of TARP on Local Economic Conditions

By Raluca Roman and Allen N. Berger

RESEARCH WORKING PAPERTARP significantly increased net job creation and net business hiring and decreased business and personal bankruptcies. These results suggest saving Wall Street through TARP may have helped save Main Street, contributing to the TARP cost-benefit debate.

The Puzzle of Payments Security: Fitting the Pieces Together to Protect the Retail Payments System

By Terri Bradford
PAYMENTS SYSTEM RESEARCH BRIEFINGThis Briefing article offers highlights from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's fifth international payments conference, "The Puzzle of Retail Payments Security: Fitting the Pieces Together to Protect the Retail Payments System," hosted June 25-26, 2015.

Did Bank Borrowers Benefit from the TARP Program? The Effects of TARP on Loan Contract Terms

By Allen N. Berger, Tanakorn Makaew, and Raluca A. Roman
RESEARCH WORKING PAPERTARP led to more favorable credit terms to customers borrowing from the recipient banks in all five contract terms studied: loan amounts, spreads, maturities, collateral, and covenants. Benefits extended primarily to safer borrowers, and borrowers with and without a relationship.

Shareholder Activism in Banking

By Raluca A. Roman
Research Working Paper Shareholder activism may generally be a destabilizing force in banking, increasing bank risk while creating market value for shareholders. This may come at the expense of bank creditors, as per a creditor-shareholder conflict. However, activism effects may be muted during crises. 

Internationalization and Bank Risk

By Allen N. Berger, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, and Raluca A. Roman
Research Working Paper Internationalization of U.S. banks is associated with higher risk, suggesting foreign market factors that make U.S. operations risky outweigh diversification benefits. Effect is stronger during crises and may be explained by agency problems related to poor corporate governance.

Faster Payments in the United States: How Can Private Sector Systems Achieve Public Policy Goals?

By Fumiko Hayashi
RESEARCH WORKING PAPERTo help private-sector faster payments systems achieve public policy goals of ubiquity, safety, and efficiency, the Federal Reserve could influence governance of the private-sector systems through its leadership role.

Bank Consolidation and Merger Activity Following the Crisis

By Michal Kowalik, Troy Davig, Charles S. Morris and Kristen Regehr
Economic Review Michal Kowalik, Troy Davig, Charles S. Morris, and Kristen Regehr analyze the financial characteristics of acquired community banks from 2011 to 2014.

Payments Conferences

Conference explores consumer payment innovation and the role of public policy in an age of increasing connectedness. Access materials from past conferences: 20152012 | 2009 | 2007 | 2005.

Public Authority Involvement in Payment Card Markets: Various Countries (08/2015)

A summary of regulatory developments in interchange fees and surcharges in various countries is provided.

Credit and Debit Card Interchange Fees in Various Countries (08/2015)

Levels of interchange fees for credit and debit cards are compared among countries in Europe, Oceania and North America.

Credit and Debit Card Interchange Fees in the U.S. (08/2015)

Charts show trends of U.S. credit and debit card interchange fees for several merchant categories.

Payments System Research Briefings

Our briefings cover payments methods, developments in payments networks, and various participants' roles in the payments system.

Payments System Research Working Papers

Our working papers cover a range of topics, including types of payments methods, developments in payments networks, and various participants' roles in the payments system.

A Guide to the ATM and Debit Card Industry: 2006 Update

This book is a 2006 update that documents industry trends and patterns and discusses their implications.

A Guide to the ATM and Debit Card Industry

This book provides an overview of the history and developement of the ATM and debit card industry, details the mechanics of ATM and debit transactions, reviews trends in ATM and debit transaction volume and pricing, and discusses industry and public policy issues.

Nonbanks in the Payments System

This book examines nonbank participation of payments activities and the roles nonbanks play in specific transaction types.