2018 Outlooks by leading research and consulting firm provide insights on new trends and opportunities in banking and payments

Mercator Advisory Group has released its complimentary annual year-end series of “Outlooks” providing insights for the year ahead on trends and new themes that will have a significant impact on the payments and banking industries, consumers, and the ways companies do business in 2018 and beyond. The topics addressed in these Outlooks set the foundation for Mercator Advisory Group’s research agenda for the coming year and provide a framework for key points of engagement that Mercator Advisory Group will have with its clients in 2018.

The 2018 Outlooks are presented by each of Mercator Advisory Group’s Advisory Services — Debit and Alternative Products, Credit (including Merchant Services), Prepaid, Customer Interaction, Commercial and Enterprise Payments, and Emerging Technologies — and can be downloaded without charge.

Download Mercator Advisory Group’s 2018 Payments and Banking Outlooks for free here:  http://www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/forecasts/

2018 Outlook Statements by Advisory Service:

“In early 2017, U.S. debit card transaction volume took an abrupt and steep decline. In 2018, issuers face a new normal with lower and unpredictable growth, compressed margins, and ever-changing fraud challenges. Meanwhile, push payments will make debit cards important as the gateway to consumers’ and small businesses’ transaction accounts. Person-to-person (P2P) payment strategies will become more important to financial institutions as they seek to fend off competition from successful fintech products. Planning faster and real-time payment solutions will reach fever pitch as financial institutions look for profitable use cases and providers aim to make real-time payments ubiquitous.” Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service

“2018 will be a year for U.S. credit card issuers to tighten up lending and build on existing customer relationships as account delinquency begins to rise. Credit card account volumes and revolving debt in the United States are back to peak levels. Concurrently, past due accounts are beginning to increase. In 2018, issuers should solidify their portfolios, grow organically, and prepare their portfolios for emerging payment opportunities.” Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service

“More than 7,500 brick-and-mortar stores in the United States have closed in 2017. Some malls have shut down entirely. This surpasses the previous high of just over 6,000 store closings, which occurred in 2008 during the Great Recession. Many merchants are down but not out. For 2018, key questions for merchants and their payment providers, including acquirers, card networks, and issuers, will be: Where and how will consumers be making their purchases, and do the patterns and behavior revealed suggest what merchants should do? Answers to these questions can be discerned from the look ahead to 2018 in this Outlook.” Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services

“The results of the 2016 U.S. elections may have led many in the prepaid payments industry to think that their regulatory concerns were at an end, but a more likely consequence is that companies will need to deal with shifting regulations for at least the next two years. Technological change and economic factors will also influence the outlook.” C. Sue Brown, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service

“Stop, collaborate, and listen! Banking is back in a brand new edition. The past year has been one of reconciliation and innovation, as financial institutions recognized the shifting landscape created by financial technology (fintech) companies and regulators and took steps to accommodate and in some cases embrace the change. The coming year will be defined by the integration of fintech into the fabric of banking service delivery by all types of financial institutions.” Joseph Walent, Associate Director, Customer Interaction Advisory Service

“Digitization continues to spread across the cash cycle as the commercial payments industry better adapts to the need for faster and improved next-generation technological capabilities while simultaneously improving fraud risk management. Modernizing and collaborating remain key in commercial and enterprise payments.” Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service

“In last year’s Outlook for the coming year, Mercator Advisory Group’ Emerging Technologies Advisory Service argued that payment solution providers should immediately invest in tokenization, machine learning, and application programming interfaces (APIs). This year we argue for more of the same. Of the three, machine learning has become entangled in major hype, yet it has demonstrated that it can be applied very broadly, not just applied to Big Data and fraud, and so it demands even greater attention. The networks continue to deliver new tokenized services to market that require new tactics and will further enable e-commerce. Banks, networks, and processors offer APIs through developer websites.” Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation, and Director, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service

Download Mercator Advisory Group’s 2018 Payments and Banking Outlooks for free here: 

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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 PaymentsJournal.com.