This paper investigates the impact of newspaper articles about skimming fraud on debit card usage in the Netherlands, using daily transaction data and daily newspaper announcements from January 1st 2005 to December 31st 2008. Key finding is that articles about skimming fraud significantly affect same day debit card usage. The direction and strength of the media effects strongly depend on the specific characteristics of the publications, such as type of fraud addressed and their position in the newspaper, but above all by the frequency with which they come out. The effects, however, are economically small compared to other factors, such as calendar and holiday effects, and do not sustain or accumulate in the long run. Yet, some first cost calculations demonstrate that the impact of media attention on total retail payments efficiency is not to be underestimated.
Keywords: debit card, fraud, safety, payment behaviour, media, newspaper.
JEL-codes: C22, C23, D12, E21.