Norges Bank

Staff Memo

Costs in the Norwegian payment system

Olaf Gresvik and Harald Haare
Staff Memo


We calculate social and private cost for the use and production of payment services in Norway for 2007. The calculations include banks’, merchants’ and households’ cost for cash, cards and giro payments. The social cost is calculated to be 0.49 % of GDP, or NOK 11.16 billion. Costs are also calculated on a per-service basis. The results are compared with data from earlier cost surveys by Norges Bank. The unit costs of the most popular services have decreased over the years. Efficiency and productivity of banks’ payment service operations has improved. We also make comparisons between frameworks, methodologies, and results from cost surveys in five European countries.

Staff Memos present reports and documentation written by staff members and affiliates of Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway. Views and conclusions expressed in Staff Memos should not be taken to represent the views of Norges Bank.

ISSN 1504-2596 (online)

Published 14 May 2009 10:10
Published 14 May 2009 10:10