Autonomous Vehicles and the Future of Payments in a Connected Environment

  What are autonomous vehicles? Autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles are quickly increasing their global presence, with small-scale deployments and pilot programs happening around the world. Autonomous vehicles (AVs), also known as self-driving or driverless vehicles, have become a focal point for innovation as consumers increasingly rely on contactless payment and delivery options. Semi-autonomous vehicles have some autonomous features but are not fully self-driving. Semi-autonomous vehicles are classified as Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3, depending on how involved the driver of the vehicle must be. This article provides a basic overview of autonomous vehicles and connected vehicle payments. While [...]

By Rachel Gore|2022-03-28T09:46:58-04:00January 21st, 2022|Tags: , , , |

Sports Betting: A Risky Gamble or Winning Bet?

What is sports betting? Sports betting, or sports gambling, is when wagers are placed on the outcome of a sports game. There is nothing new about sports betting. In fact, it is thousands of years old, with ancient Greeks betting on athletic competitions and ancient Romans wagering on the outcome of chariot races and circus events. Of course, modern betting does not revolve around chariot races. Instead, sports bettors place wagers on amateur and professional sports including horse racing, soccer, tennis, football, baseball, basketball, boxing, and many more.   The repeal of PASPA The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which took effect on January [...]

By Rachel Gore|2022-03-23T13:36:47-04:00November 10th, 2021|

Severe Merchant Distress from U.S. Shutdown — but Not Without Hope to Recover

Coming out of April 2020 with the peak of COVID-19 past in most parts of the United States, we can start to assess the current merchant and payments landscape and better understand some key implications for the near future. As of May 1, at least 30 states began to unwind restrictions on social interaction and commerce that were mandated to prevent spread of the coronavirus. The most far-reaching reopening of the shutdowns are taking place in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina. These states will be the templates for government officials and households to watch to determine the right balance [...]

By Mercator Research|2021-07-16T19:09:47-04:00May 8th, 2020|

Merchant Mobile Apps Drive Consumer Adoption and Engagement

Back 10 years or so, when Mercator Advisory Group was designing its first CustomerMonitor Survey Series consumer payments survey questionnaires, one question of interest to our clients was “How many apps are people willing to put on their phones?” Now, that question seems dated considering the explosion in inventory on the phone manufacturers’ app stores and the app offerings from nearly all merchant types. But that contrast makes a point—merchant apps have become both universal and essential to merchants’ relationships with their customers. And merchants’ focus on apps is due to their customers’ seemingly boundless embrace of smartphones and apps. [...]

By Mercator Research|2021-07-22T13:34:12-04:00February 28th, 2020|

Friendly Fraud Is Driving Increased Merchant Chargebacks

It’s not easy being a merchant today for a variety of reasons. Fierce competition exists in every vertical market, consumer shopping behavior has evolved, and then there’s Amazon. Additionally, merchants are often at loggerheads over swipe fees with payment providers including merchant acquirers/processors, card networks, and card issuers. Many merchants believe that the byzantine transaction fee structures are unfair and that card networks periodically force system changes on them. Whether it’s the EMV mandate for acceptance of chip cards at the point of sale (POS) or transaction dispute resolution, small and medium-sized merchants, especially, often feel they bear the brunt [...]

By Mercator Research|2021-07-22T13:54:22-04:00December 23rd, 2019|

Merchant services for small businesses evolve beyond mobile point-of-sale payment acceptance

Small businesses, including retail merchants, are the engine of the U.S. economy. They represent thousands of start-ups and create tens of thousands of new jobs. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as of 2018 there were 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, defined as independent firms that employ fewer than 500 people. These firms created 66% of net new jobs. However, many small businesses are microbusinesses—sole proprietorships with no paid employees. Small businesses face many challenges that result in a high failure rate; just 56% of small firms started in 2014 made it into 2018. Much [...]

By Mercator Research|2021-07-22T14:13:29-04:00September 5th, 2019|

2019 a Breakout Year for U.S. Online Grocery Ordering

Some people do their grocery shopping every Thursday when discounts on weekly sale items become available. Others stop at the grocery after work on Friday to stock up for the weekend. Then there are those who never go to the store on weekends to avoid long checkout lines. Whatever the day and time, grocery shopping is a necessary routine carried out by every household. Supermarkets are probably the most frequently visited retailers other than Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) and convenience stores (C-Stores). U.S. consumers generally have their own supermarket shopping routines that typically occur more than once per week. Industry [...]

By Mercator Research|2021-07-22T14:22:31-04:00June 26th, 2019|

What Works and What Doesn’t Work in Merchants’ Customer Loyalty Programs

Merchants of all sizes often emphasize customer loyalty and how they value their best steady customers. After all, customer retention is one of the most basic business principles. Getting shoppers to keep coming back is critical for both brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce in the retail world. Physical store closings are a response to declining shopper visits evidenced by empty storefronts on main streets and in malls. E-commerce too relies on repeat business. While most merchants have customer retention initiatives in place, not all merchant loyalty programs are effective enough to keep customers coming back. Business owners and operators know intuitively [...]

By Mercator Research|2021-07-22T14:30:04-04:00May 23rd, 2019|

U.S. Auto Makers and Developers Are Just Starting Their Engines for Connected Car E-commerce

America’s love affair with the automobile has been well established for decades. Over the years, different car attributes such as design and luxury have attracted the eye and pocketbook of the driving public. Initially, the U.S. auto industry created a means for people simply to get around in basic mechanical vehicles. After World War II, the rise of suburbia and creation of the interstate highway system enabled families to live far from city centers and work locations. Weekends and vacations often revolved around driving to leisure and recreational areas. Etched in American folklore are classic roads such as Route 66, [...]

By Mercator Research|2021-07-22T15:38:11-04:00December 14th, 2018|

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