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.
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For information on all research on consumer credit and payments, go to our Program in Consumer Credit & Payments page.
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.