The Payments Ecosystem: The Industry’s Biggest Shifts, Trends, and Evolution—and What the Pandemic’s Impact on Digitization Will Mean for the Payments Landscape

The Payments Ecosystem: The Industry’s Biggest Shifts, Trends, and Evolution—and What the Pandemic’s Impact on Digitization Will Mean for the Payments Landscape

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The pandemic accelerated payments industry digitization across the entire landscape, as merchants turned to ecommerce to keep doors open, consumers eschewed cash in favor of electronic and contactless payments, and payments technology providers rapidly developed and launched new solutions to keep up.


  • Who are the key stakeholders in the payments ecosystem, and how has the pandemic affected operations?
  • How did the events of 2020 impact the payment methods, channels, and transaction types that consumers and businesses use to transfer money?
  • What are three key trends to watch in the year to come?

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? Insider Intelligence examines the payments ecosystem today, as well as the pandemic’s impact on growth drivers and the industry’s future. The report traces the path of in-store and online payments from processing to settlement across key stakeholders. It then unpacks pandemic-driven changes in usage of various payment methods, and forecasts growth and defines drivers for key digital payment channels and transaction types as the pandemic accelerates digitization. Finally, it highlights three trends that are changing the industry, looking at how surging fraud, a revenue crunch, and rising demand for white-labeled payments features from unconventional players might spark change in the years to come.

KEY STAT: As the payments ecosystem expands and digital payments surge, ecommerce reached an estimated $794.50 billion in 2020, and mobile proximity payments are expected to have increased by 18.9% in the year to accommodate pandemic-driven demand.

Here’s what’s in the full report

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Key Points
  3. Introduction
  4. Participants in the Payments Purchasing Chain
  5. Payments Hardware and Software
  6. Anatomy of a Payment Transaction
  7. Payment Instruments
  8. Channels and Transaction Types
  9. Three Payments Trends to Watch

Charts in the Report

  1. Payments Hardware and Software
  2. US POS Terminal Shipments
  3. NFC-Ready and mPOS Terminal Shipments Worldwide 2019 & 2024
  4. Forecast: US ATM Users 2015 - 2024
  5. How an Open Loop Transaction Works
  6. How a Card Transaction is Batched and Cleared
  7. How a Card Transaction is Funded
  8. How a Three-Party Transaction Works
  9. How Reloading a Prepaid Card Works
  10. How an ACH Transaction Works
  11. How a Real-Time Non Card Transaction Works
  12. Average US Consumer's Cash and Check Usage By Year (2015 - 2019)
  13. Average US Consumers Payment Card Usage By Year (2015 - 2019) by Debit, Credit and Prepaid
  14. Estimated Global BNPL Transaction Value 2018, 2021, 2025
  15. US ACH Transaction Volume and Value
  16. Forecast: US Non-Ecommerce Retail Sales 2011-2024 (Volume and Growth %)
  17. Forecast: US Proximity Mobile Payment Usage (2015 - 2024) by Volume ($B) and Usage
  18. Forecast: US Ecommerce Retail Sales 2011-2024 (Volume and Growth %)
  19. Forecast: US Desktop and Laptop Ecommerce Volume (2015 - 2024)
  20. Forecast: US Smartphone and Tablet mCommerce Retail Sales (2015 - 2024)
  21. Forecast: US Retail Social Commerce Sales (2016 - 2024)
  22. Forecast: US Smart Speaker Ecommerce Sales (2017 - 2020)
  23. Forecast: US Mobile P2P Payments (2017 - 2024)
  24. Forecast: Global Remittance Inflow (2017 - 2021)
  25. Forecast: US B2B Payment Value by Type (2017 - 2021)
  26. Annual Cross-Border Payment Volume Growth by Quarter 2020
  27. US Identity Fraud Incidents by Year (2013 - 2019)
  28. Square Gross Profit by Segment




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