Annual Forecasts

Click links below to access 2020 Outlook Documents:


2020 Outlook: U.S. Payments

Virtualization of payments is accelerating and expanding into new areas like the internet of things and 5G, forcing payments industry participants to become more agile. Each year, Mercator Advisory Group discusses top trends anticipated for the coming year or two in Outlook by each of the practices except for Primary Data. The present document summarizes those Outlooks in the context of the larger themes we are studying in 2020.


2020 Outlook: Commercial and Enterprise Payments

Continuing with digital adoption to deliver better, easier, and faster global services.

Technology innovation is leading businesses to expect more information and functionality, delivered across borders in a way that enables easy and safe utilization.


2020 Outlook: Credit

Happy days are here again as U.S. credit card issuers reverse the downward trend in their profitability as the next decade begins.

Low unemployment helped control credit loss expenses and increased credit card interest spreads improved revenue in 2019. Expect both factors to have a positive impact on the credit card industry in 2020. This Mercator Advisory Group outlook on credit cards for 2020 identifies 12 trends that will influence U.S. issuers’ revenue, risk, the market, and product growth.


2020 Outlook: Debit and Alternative Products

Investment in faster and real-time payments picks up and the impact on traditional payments is already being observed.

The disruption of faster payments and real-time payments is impacting primarily check and cash transactions in these early days of adoption, but it is easy to envision a point when other traditional payment types, including debit cards, will be challenged.

2020 Outlook: Emerging Technologies

Technology is shifting consumer behavior so fast that financial institutions and payments processors and networks are hard pressed to keep up.

It once took years for technology to alter markets and shift consumer behavior. Today those changes are happening more rapidly than ever before, and it’s unlikely that many processors, networks, or financial institutions are taking the shift as seriously as they should. Identity has emerged as the central issue for payments and account opening, but with the technology evolving so quickly, there are no benchmarks available to compare offerings and so determining appropriate solutions is difficult.

2020 Outlook: Merchant Services

Technology is quickly shifting consumer behavior, the payments infrastructure, and ultimately the supplier landscape.

It once took years for technology to alter markets and shift consumer behavior, but today those changes happen more rapidly than ever before and it’s unlikely that many processors, networks, or financial institutions are taking this shift as seriously as they should.

2020 Outlook: Prepaid


Unpredictability in the U.S. economic and political environment will likely cause segment shift in prepaid..

The April 2019 changes in the “Prepaid Rules” by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which require prepaid general purpose reloadable (GPR) cards to have the same protections as debit cards, have resulted in modifications to prepaid program product offerings in the United States. Several other factors will affect prepaid in the coming year. Challenger banks that are currently online-only present new competition. Technological advances and economic and political factors will also influence the success of prepaid in 2020.