The payment card business has evolved from its inception in the 1950s as a way to handle payment for expense-account lunches (the Diners Club card) into today's complex, sprawling industry that drives trillions of dollars in transaction volume each year. Paying with Plastic is the definitive source on an industry that has revolutionized the way we borrow and spend. More than a history book, Paying with Plastic delivers an entertaining discussion of the impact of an industry that epitomizes the notion of two-sided markets: those in which two or more customer groups receive value only if all sides are actively engaged. New to this second edition, the two-sided market discussion provides useful insight into the implications of these market dynamics for cardholder rewards, merchant interchange fees, and card acceptance. The authors, both of whom have researched the industry for more than 25 years, also examine the implications of the recent antitrust cases on the industry as well as other business and technological changes -- including the massive consolidation brought about by bank mergers, the rise of the debit card, and the emergence of e-commerce -- that could alter the payment card industry dramatically in the years to come.
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David S. Evans is an economist, business adviser, and entrepreneur. He cofounded, and helps lead, two consulting organizations: Global Economics Group, which provides economic expertise on antitrust and regulatory matters, and Market Platform Dynamics, which advises companies on multisided platform strategies. He is also Chairman of PYMNTS.com, a multisided media and data analytics platform he cofounded. He has consulted for many of the largest multisided platform businesses in the world and served as an adviser to a number of start-up matchmakers. In addition, David has an active academic career. At the University College London he is Executive Director of the Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics as well as a visiting professor. He is also a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. David is the author, coauthor, or editor of ten books and has written more than one hundred scholarly articles, many of which address the economics of entrepreneurship, business dynamics, and multisided platforms. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, from which he earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD, all in economics.
Richard Schmalensee is Howard W. Johnson Professor of Economics and Management, Emeritus at MIT. He has served as a member of the MIT Energy Council and was Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research for 12 years. He served as the John C Head III Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1998 through 2007. He was the Member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers with primary responsibility for energy and environmental policy from 1989 through 1991. Professor Schmalensee has published 11 books and more than 120 articles; his work focuses on industrial organization economics and its policy applications, with a recent focus on energy and environmental policy. He was co-chair of the MIT Energy Initiative study The Future of the Electric Grid and chair of the The Future of Solar Energy. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Chairman of the Board of Resources for the Future.