Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets around the World


Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets around the World


Publication Date



This book tells the story of credit cards around the world: why people use them, the effects on the economies of the nations where they prevail, why they are used so differently around the world, and what should be done to respond to the problems they cause. It includes a wealth of data from around the world, fascinating narratives about the differences from country to country, and penetrating analyses of policies that might stem misuse of cards.

  • Was the first empirical analysis of the effect of credit cards on the rise of consumer bankruptcy in the U.S. Japan, and Commonwealth countries
  • Historical information and empirical data that explains and illustrates the disparate pattern of credit and debit card usage throughout the world
  • A comprehensive set of policy recommendations grounded not only in the empirical and historical discussion, but also in modern economic theory


Business Organizations Law | Economics | Law | Law and Economics




Cambridge University Press


New York, NY


"Mann offers a fresh, new perspective on credit cards. In a book that is deeply researched and based on careful analysis of previously-unpublished data, he compares the risks of plastic with other forms of payment to arrive at startling conclusions about the effect of credit cards on the American consumer. Mann's comparative data reach across Europe, North America and Asia, offering different visions of how payment systems may evolve. This is a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand the evolving world of consumer credit."
Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

"This fascinating book delivers a rigorous and illuminating appraisal of the role played by credit and debit cards in the commercial life of the USA and other developed economies. Building on an impressive array of statistical data, Mann develops a balanced and objective assessment of the relationships between credit card spending, and card-related debt, and overall levels of consumer debt and bankruptcy within society. This ground-breaking comparative study will be an essential point of reference for all who seek to understand the latter-day phenomenon of the 'plastic revolution,' and to evaluate its associated benefits and costs."
Professor Ian F. Fletcher, Herbert Smith Chair of International Commercial Law, University College London

"This excellent monograph covers a lot of ground and provides the reader with a lucid description and powerful analysis of the development of credit and debit cards in North America and overseas, their interaction with merchants and consumers, the negative features of contemporary credit card issuers' practices, and the externalities created by unregulated credit card contracts.

What distinguishes Charging Ahead from the other voluminous literature in the area is the scientific rigour brought to bear by the author through the use of statistical data to illuminate or contradict an argument and the avoidance of anecdotal stories which, while sometimes illuminating or amusing, have little scientific validity. Equally impressive is Professor Mann's intellectual honesty and his willingness to accept the conclusions derived from his economic and legal analysis of cutting edge issues even when they are at variance with his free market instincts.

The book should do much to dispel some common myths and to reinforce the arguments of those stressing the need to counteract the excesses of credit card issuers."
Jacob Ziegel, Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Toronto

"The textbook of choice for students and industry professionals studying the expanding electronic payments market."

"Highly recommend[ed]…. It educates and illuminates about the payment card industry in ways that haven't been so well explained before. And, by chewing on the key issues and proposing tentative conclusions, Mann helps you gain perspective about the strengths and weaknesses of the industry today."
Payments News

"Mann gives us tremendous insight (empirically and otherwise) into… the payment card love triangle."
Payments Intelligence

"...Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets offers a refreshingly balanced perspective on the optimal use of credits ... the book manages to be provocative without resort to polemic. Even rarer, Charging Ahead reveals how payment systems law – perhaps the most esoteric topic in the already esoteric world of commercial law – shapes our society and its pursuit of the good life... Charging Ahead elucidates the public effects of our often mindless act of paying with plastic... Charging Ahead concludes with a cogent and careful circumscribed set of strategies for reshaping American appetites for credit card use ... provides a concise and readable explication of the variety of payment cards, focusing on the benefits and burdens of debit cards versus credit cards ... articulate a persuasive agenda for credit card reform that has international applicability..."
Katherine Porter, Michigan Law Review [Vol. 106:1167]


Also available as an eBook through the Columbia University Libraries.

Charging Ahead: The Growth and Regulation of Payment Card Markets around the World

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