This choice of using a prepaid card or cash presents individuals with two different payment options. While both are denominated in dollars, cash not spent on cafeteria meals can be spent on other items either immediately or sometime in the future. Alternatively, money on the prepaid account can be used only on food, until some date in the future when excess money is returned. Because the use of prepaid dollars is limited (both by time and choice), these dollars have less value to the consumer than cash in their pockets that can be used for anything at any time. Thus, putting $20 on a prepaid account may lead to greater food consumption than $20 in cash. This discount effect suggests that, compared with cash, prepayment cards may lead to greater spending on food and, thus, greater consumption volume.
Finally, prepayment for all items may increase sensitivity to environmental factors by reducing the general level of cognition and encouraging impulse buying. Thus, students using an unrestricted prepaid card likely will spend more money on “frivolous” items compared with students using cash or restricted debit cards.
Etiquetas: economia comportamental