New advisory service to focus exclusively on merchant-related payments topics and issues with impact on the retail and consumer landscapes.

Boston, MA—August 7, 2018—Continuing its coverage and analysis of customer interaction and customer experience topics in the payments ecosystem, Mercator Advisory Group announces Merchant Services as its newest continuous advisory service area. This new practice is designed to serve the merchant acquiring community, merchants themselves, and the value chain associated with the customer experience. The service will focus on interactions with consumers at the point of sale (POS), e-commerce, and mobile payments and mobile apps amid a changing merchant ecosystem that includes gateways, aggregators, payment facilitators, ISVs, online marketplaces, and more.

Topics the service will cover include e-commerce and mobile payments, POS systems and technology, and fraud management solutions. Research and insight will also be provided on retail vertical markets that play a pivotal role in the evolving payments landscape, such as mainline retailers, restaurants, grocery, C-stores, and petro. Other payments-centric business categories the service will follow include on-demand services, the gig economy, consumer product brands, and small business. The practice rebrands and refocuses Mercator’s Customer Interaction Advisory Service to best serve our payments audience by covering customer interaction in areas most relevant to the payments community. Members of the Customer Interaction service will automatically receive the research documents produced by this new practice.

The Director of the Merchant Services practice will be Raymond Pucci, who has served as Associate Director of Research Services at Mercator. In that role, he has written on a variety of payments topics in many research reports that will serve as the basis for an extensive archive for the Merchant Services practice, along with selected documents from the Customer Interaction practice. Prior to Mercator, Raymond was Director of Market Research & Analysis at Lexington Research Group for 20 years, specializing in market strategy and competitive intelligence. He has extensive experience and consultative work across industries including financial services, technology, retail, consumer products, and private equity groups. He has often been a speaker and moderated panels at trade shows and conferences, and has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell School of Business. Raymond earned an MBA at the Boston College Graduate School of Management as well as an undergraduate degree in economics from Syracuse University.

“Merchants are at the epicenter of the payments landscape, which has undergone significant change in recent times and will continue to feel the dynamics of disruptive forces, including online and mobile shopping. We are in a world of concierge commerce where consumers have new leverage to shop and buy when, where, and how they want. Merchants need to identify and understand how to react and capitalize on these evolving consumer purchase patterns,” Raymond stated. “Mercator already has a rich research archive of merchant-related topics, and now the new service will focus exclusively on relevant topics and issues of importance to stakeholders in this space.”
This service goes hand-in-hand with Mercator’s recently launched Customer Merchant Experience (CME) Survey data sets and will also benefit from Mercator’s extensive CustomerMonitor Survey Series (CMSS). Together, these represent a unique data source driven by a powerful and integrated approach to assessing the impact of the payments process for merchants and their providers.

“The merchant and merchant acquiring landscape is shifting dramatically,” commented Robert Misasi, President of Mercator Advisory Group. “This has led to an increased focus by Mercator on this area as we believe it is of critical and heightened importance to Mercator’s member clients going forward. The level of technological disruption, steering potential, and relationship value being unlocked is massive. Take a look at PayPal’s market capitalization over the past year to get a sense of what is at stake (and realize this is PayPal after acquisition of Venmo and Braintree). Ray Pucci leads our effort in this area backed by our full team of industry veterans, each focusing on different aspects of the payments space to bring our clients depth across the payments landscape.”

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About Mercator Advisory Group:
Mercator Advisory Group is the leading independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world’s largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, merchants and associations to leading technology providers and investors. Mercator Advisory Group is also the publisher of the online payments and banking news and information portal