Mercator provides insights and guidance and serves our members through three primary activities: Research Advisory Services; Custom Research and Consulting; and, our CustomerMonitor Survey Series.
- Market Assessments
- Marketing Strategy Development
- Product Launch Development
- Product Management
- Sales training/positioning
- Cost Benefit Analysis Development
- Architecture Planning
- Make/Buy Decisions
- Strategic Planning / Business Line Management
- Competitive Intelligence
- 3rd Party Strategy Validation
- Knowledge Management Groups (for use by all areas)
Mercator Advisory Group offers six separate Advisory Services each of which have their own research agendas and analyst teams. These services span a range of payments and banking industry issues. What follows are high-level bullets which capture themes critical to each of these practices. Research agendas are also available which offer more specifics.
BANKING SERVICES GROUP:
Customer-Centric Delivery Channels (CCDC) - The CCDC Advisory Service focuses on the interactions between banks and their customers. The service explores how innovative delivery channel strategies, bank marketing, operational processes and touch point technologies have the ability to improve the customer experience and increase bank revenue while reducing costs. Concentration is placed on channels where transaction volumes are increasing, including Mobile, Internet and Contact Center, while monitoring changes in the more mature channels of full-service and in-store Branches and ATMs that must confront declining transaction volumes. This practice explores multi-channel integration issues and the coordination of the customer experience across a a diverse range of mature and fast changing delivery channel technologies and product specific channel applications.
PAYMENTS SERVICES GROUP:
Debit Advisory Service - The Debit Advisory Service focuses on the various forms of electronic consumer and commercial payment methods that involve accessing a transaction-based account. These methods include, for example, debit cards, ACH, and EFT.
From the perspective of accountholders, financial institutions, and merchants Mercator Advisory Group examines the impact of current and future technology on business processes at all stages of the debit account and transaction lifecycle. Mercator Advisory Group's engagement and coverage includes, but is not limited to: account management and servicing, loyalty programs, risk management, POS devices, strategic positioning, ATM market, check conversion, bill payment and vendor management.
Credit Advisory Service - The Credit Advisory Service focuses on the needs of credit issuers, acquirers, processors and the vendors and investors who serve them.The emphasis of this service is on the consumer and business ?pay later? payment methods involving the extension of credit, examining the impact of technology and the competitive environment on business process at all stages of the account lifecycle. Coverage includes, but is not limited to: credit scoring, account acquisition, loyalty programs, customer attrition, acquirer products and services, customer service, account management, fraud management, account processing, card technology, strategic positioning, legal and regulatory environment, and vendor management.
While many topics focus on card-based consumer and commercial payment solutions (consumer, small business, commercial, charge, and procurement cards), emerging online and alternative credit payment products are also covered.
Prepaid Advisory Service - The Prepaid Advisory Servicefocuses on 34 different prepaid market segments that include solutions that are implemented on Branded Card Networks, Closed Loop Networks, and the EBT. Benchmarks measuring the growth of all 34 market segments have been performed annually since 2003, revealing the rapid expansion of Network Branded Solutions into several segments, such as Incentives.
Research includes in-depth reports on specific segments, such as Payroll, and research on how key issues will impact the prepaid industry, such as the expanding role of Prepaid Mall Distributors, Restricted Authorization Networks, Merchant Funded Discounts, and the growing role of telecommunications suppliers.
Emerging Technologies Advisory Service - The Emerging Technologies Advisory Service focuses on newly emerging consumer payment technologies that stand to impact significantly the future of the industry.
At present, a large emphasis of this service is on payments security initiatives, Chip/Smart Card technologies, mobile payment initiatives, chip card applications and programs, RFID devices, emerging authentication mechanisms (biometrics, etc.), purse/wallet initiatives, transportation/identity linked programs, and the drivers for success in these increasingly important sectors. This service also looks closely at POS device advancements, technical product innovation, standards development, and e-commerce initiatives.
International Advisory Service - The International Payments Advisory Service focuses on the needs of global markets related to the development of payments-related services. Specifically, we focus on credit, debit, prepaid, and emerging payments technology markets in international markets outside of the U.S. IPAS serves the interests of payment networks, issuers, acquirers, processors, service providers, and the vendors and consultancies who service them.
The charter for the practice is to serve three primary constituencies: 1) U.S. Companies looking to expand into new markets in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America (including those with interest in changes in market characteristics that ease/inhibit expansion); 2) Companies worldwide that are examining issues affecting the adoption of electronic payments in domestic and international markets, and the businesses affected by these networks; and, 3) Firms pursuing global best practices and reviewing innovation and change that stand to drive future strategy
Mercator Advisory Group's focus in the international payments markets is on identifying pockets of opportunity, monitoring new developments that will impact growth from multiple perspectives including but not limited to: regulatory climate, market readiness/infrastructure developments, local players and acceptance, trends in consumers' payment behaviors, partnership opportunities, competition dynamics, best practices, and innovative business models and market strategies.
Memberships include (for each service selected):
- Primary Deliverables
- 20documents per service area per year (10 Reports, 5 Notes, 5 Viewpoints) and related Powerpoint presentations
- Direct, unlimited analyst access to the research team (for each service area selected)
- Direct, limited access to all Mercator Advisory Group research teams (for all research areas)
- Access to all back research in the service(s) selected
- 15 login IDs per service (IDs access all subscribed areas)
- One dedicated day of analyst time to be used as you see fit. For client conferences, market strategy presentations, third-rd party strategy validations, training sessions, etc.
Mercator Advisory Group delivers highly customized proprietary research and expert opinion and advice to payments and banking industry participants who have specialized research needs. Our consulting professionals have extensive industry knowledge and project management experience within all segments of the banking and payments industries. Project teams are comprised of lead research analysts, specialized consultants and project managers, who together bring insight and experience to each engagement.
We help our clients develop business strategies, fine-tune product development and pricing, define and implement marketing campaigns, and evaluate market entry strategies. Mercator provides clients with custom-designed quantitative and qualitative research that deliver the combination of data, analysis, and opinion needed to support strategic and tactical decisions.
Representative Project Types: Mercator routinely completes custom research and consulting engagements for issuers, merchants, processors, banks, and solution vendors. Since each client brings a unique set of business challenges we develop a specialized project plan for each engagement. Typical projects include:
- Market Strategy Development - We provide independent, expert council on decisions related to entering new geographies, developing new product sets, assessing local competitors, understanding local market product requirements, and creating market-entry messages.
- Market Sizing and Forecasting - Global companies weighing market opportunities use Mercator to understand and compare regional and country-level geographic IT spending characteristics, trends, and direction. We also help evaluate competitive market shares. Our clients use this information to help make marketing and resource decisions.
- Go-to-Market Strategies - We develop customer-facing marketing collateral to educate and demonstrate our clients' value propositions. These outreach efforts also include vendor sales force training, sales team educational knowledge briefs, webcast presentations, as well as reviews and commentary on internally developed brochures and presentations.
- White Papers - An objective and authoritative publication developed in collaboration with a client, white papers are often part of an integrated marketing campaign. White papers are designed to meet a client's specific needs and typically are used to introduce products or technologies to the market; define or validate an emerging market, educate potential buyers on a value proposition, or showcase successful customer implementations.
Benefits to Custom Research and Consulting Clients:
Mercator provides highly efficient, timely, fact-based solutions and recommendations.
The extensive knowledge level of our analysts provides clients with specific advice on business-related strategies and subsequent application direction. In addition to custom research we offer an array of market intelligence and research products and services to further your market knowledge on a continual basis. Our research and advisory memberships track Credit, Debit, Prepaid, Emerging Technology, International Payments, and Customer-Centric Delivery Channels.
CustomerMonitor Survey Series
The CustomerMonitor Survey Series offers a library of valuable resources that combine both relevant payments and banking data with experiential survey analysis focused on today's most critical and strategic issues.
The CustomerMonitor Survey Series leverages customized surveys that are topical in nature, with a concentration on the most pertinent banking and payments issues. Mercator is able to strongly recognize topics of current interest to the payments and banking industries due to our in-depth coverage of these industries and the level of input we receive from our valued clients.
Access to the CustomerMonitor Survey Series library is offered as a subscription-based membership, separate of Mercator's Advisory Services (see above) because it is composed of large national sample surveys, a compilation of primary data (Cross Tabs), analysis (summaries of the data sets) and companion power points. This collection of cost-effective primary data and analysis can be leveraged to validate research initiatives and business strategies, refine operations and fulfill objectives.
CustomerMonitor Survey Series subscribers will have a full year's access to the library of primary data (including past years and current year information) and report summaries, which cover an expanding range of topics as each year is completed.
CustomerMonitor Survey Series Library Membership Includes:
- All Summaries prepared by Mercator research director
- All datasets in Cross Tab format
- Companion PPTs
- One Webinar for internal audience to present top-level research findings
- Access to prior years' data and summaries (the library started in 2009)
- Members are provided with one free custom data query per topic purchased. Thereafter, a fee is applied to custom topical data queries.
WHY BECOME AN ADVISORY SERVICES MEMBER?
By joining with Mercator, you benefit from:
Mercator's commitment to Depth, Focus, and Service and our position as the leading independent provider of research and analysis for the payments and banking industries.
- DEPTH. Mercator's analysts combine deep industry experience with deep research industry experience. Many of Mercator's analysts have 20+ years of directly relevant experience.
- FOCUS. Focused services deliver significantly greater impact for your research dollar. Mercator's granular research approach yields enhanced value in analyst interactions, data relevancy, and nuanced understanding of the marketplace. Other research services do not offer as many analysts or objective reports focused on payment and banking related topics.
- SERVICE. Mercator is committed to serving our members as an extension of staff. We offer unlimited analyst access, firm-wide access, and direct access to our analysts. As a boutique, privately-held firm, we have the control and flexibility needed to deliver superior service. This is reflected in our exceptional client renewal and upgrade metrics.
An independent, objective, third-party resource
- Enables 3rd party validation efforts (for market assessments, positioning, strategic reviews, cost/benefit, etc.)
- Enables fact-finding efforts to be conducted while protecting your privacy
Obtaining the information you need while keeping costs in check
- Outsourcing augments your internal market research function enhancing your ability to compete effectively
- Mercator Advisory Group's team and resources added for a fraction of their cost due to cost-sharing across all Members.
We believe research services such as this are critically important for your business because:
Additional information about our services is available on our website at
- Information gathering is crucial to understanding the changing environment.
- Research services maximize internal efficiencies. High priced strategic resources (SVP level and up) are using too much of their time to gather/compile/filter this information. Our service enables them to spend more time analyzing and using the information rather than compiling it.
- The shared resource model (outsourcing this function) enables you to gather the information you need at a fraction of the cost. Provided that the firm you choose is focused on serving areas that are of critical importance to your business
- External research services enable anonymity in fact-finding/data-gathering.
- External research services build credibility in marketing and sales.
- External research services provide validation for business case development.
www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com or by contacting us directly at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-419-1700.