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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Payment account settings matter: A further investigation of the mobile-premium effect on spending

Published: May 28, 2019


Rufina Gafeeva, Independent researcher; Simon McNair, University of Leeds, Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School


retail payments; mobile payment; consumer spending


Despite the rapid proliferation of mobile payment, how their actual usage will affect consumer behaviour remains relatively unknown. Existing research documents a card-premium effect of higher spending when paying with card than with cash due to a reduced transparency of the transaction. We employ a field study and an online experiment to examine consumer spending with mobile payment and card payment. In addition to the physical payment form (card vs. mobile phone), we differentiate between the payment account settings (automatic debit vs. manual deposit), i.e., the access method of the payment account of a digital payment mode to monetary resources. We find that it is not the difference in physical payment form that results in higher spending but the difference in payment account settings: Automatic debit payment accounts settings result in higher spending compared to Manual deposit payment account settings due to a higher perception of affordability.


We thank Eleanor Faragher-Siddall for her help with data collection.