The Use of Electronic Banking Services in Italy: the Case of Credit Cards
Authors: Alessandra Amendolaa, Alfonso Pellecchiaa, Luca Sensinib
Abstract: Among the electronic banking services, that of credit cards can be considered as an index of standard of living. Although Italy is one of the leading developed countries, the use of credit cards, and more generally of electronic payment instruments, is not widespread compared to other western countries. Our aim is to investigate such differences highlighting their socio-economic implications, for example in terms of competition in the credit card markets. Using the most recent Bank of Italy Survey on Household Income and Wealth as data source, we employ count data models in order to identify the socio-economic, demographic and geographic variables affecting the number of credit cards held by Italian households. Results show that the considered variables are statistically significant in explaining the process. Particularly, we find that the geographic location is an important determinant of families’ behavior. This result is consistent with the socio-economic gap between the North and the South of Italy. Other relevant predictors are the level of education, the gender and the marital status.
Keywords: Banking Services, Payment cards, Credit cards, Count-data models, Financial markets
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