With huge influx of new payment solutions into the industry, both opportunities and challenges for merchant acquirers have reached a new level. There is paradigm shift from conventional services, such as accepting mag-stripe debit/credit cards, and mail and telephone orders, to new acceptance channels as a result of e-commerce/m-commerce, contactless technology, mPOS and omni-retailing.
Timetric’s “Insight Report: Global Trends in Merchant Acquiring” analyzes the emerging trends, which are likely to shape up the merchant acquiring industry over the next five years.
The demarcating lines between business areas controlled by different market participants are gradually fading, with participants assuming multiple roles including acquiring, processing and technology providers. Furthermore, pressure on profit margins is encouraging acquirers to look for growth opportunities, in new locations and merchant segments.
External factors, such as regulations, are also influencing business models by increasing pressure on profitability. As a result, on one side acquirers are introducing new products and services, while on the other side focus is on enhancing capabilities such as cross-border acquiring and lowering merchant attrition. The report also provides an overview of card acquiring market size, at global as well as regional levels, and discusses the role of merchant aggregators in on-boarding micro and small merchants.
The lines between business areas controlled by different market participants are becoming more blurred, with participants assuming multiple roles, including acquiring, processing, security and technology.
Challenges imposed by regulation and demand for the latest technology have prompted banks to outsource or spin-off their acquiring businesses. At the same time, merchants have benefited from a drop in merchant service charges, increased payments innovation, industry-wide standardization, data analytics, omni-channel solutions and improved customer experience.
The industry has moved towards price competition due to the commoditized nature of products and services, which has increased pressure on profit margins. The situation has become troublesome for acquirers as regulators worldwide cap debit merchant service charges (MSCs) and interchange fees in an effort to reduce MSCs.
Card acquiring has become more accessible to micro merchants and small businesses. Technology such as mPOS and GPRS-POS are enabling merchants to accept cards without a landline connection. Advances in transactional security such as EMV, point-to-point encryption and 3D-Secure are also reducing acquirers’ risk aversion to smaller merchants.
Another key development in the industry is the dismantling of borders and ability to offer services in multiple countries – especially in e-commerce. For instance, in SEPA there are no more country boundaries, so an acquirer can legally operate from anywhere it wants.
For data, background and forecasts on Merchant Acquiring: Search CardWeb.com’s CardFlash® Library of more than 58,000 archived articles; Access CardWeb.com’s CardData® for current and historical Performance, Portfolios, Profiles, etc. Visit RAM Research® (ramresearch.com) for quarterly and annual forecasts covering more than 150 metrics. [complimentary or deeply discounted access to CardWeb.com subscribers].
Additional database resources include CardWeb.com’s CardExecs® – comings & goings of payments movers & shakers; CardWeb.com’s CardWatch® – ears & eyes on marketing globally (57K items); and CardWeb.com’s CardPixes® – form & function of card design (7K items).