When you use a debit card, do you sign your name or enter your pin?

Do you know if your decision makes a difference? Do you know which one is better for you?

Nudge is a book grounded in economics, which means it argues incentives are a powerful tool for shaping human behavior. Nudge is also a book ground in psychology, which means it does not assume that people always see incentives or fully understand their implications.

The New York Times reports on an interesting example of these two points: Debit cards that require either a customer signature or a PIN number. Different companies involved in the payment chain have conflicting preferences about which ones customers should use. Customers, of course, have their own preference — the debit card that leads to the lowest overall price for whatever product they are buying. The problem is that most don’t know which card that is.

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