2017 Payments Outlook


New uncertainties may alter the trajectory of disruption in payments.

Leading payments research and consulting firm offers complimentary outlook on trends shaping the payments industry in 2017.

Author: Ken Paterson
Published on: January 20, 2017

Fintech has been labeled the great disrupter of payments, and it is very much a force to be reckoned with. But could the emerging environment of regulatory uncertainty disrupt the great disrupter in 2017? Mercator Advisory Group’s latest research note, 2017 Payments Outlook, summarizes the 2017 Outlook forecasts available from six of Mercator’s research practices—the Credit, Debit, Prepaid, Customer Interaction, Commercial and Enterprise Payments, and Emerging Technologies Advisory Services—as well as the forecast for Merchant Services. The Outlooks highlight the sweep of changes Mercator anticipates for the volatile year ahead as well as the technology trends that will drive change beyond the 2017 horizon.

“Last year, “disruption” was the watchword in payments—primarily the fintech variety. This year disruption by financial technology (fintech) firms might well be joined by regulatory uncertainty, which could be more disruptive than either regulatory or deregulatory certainty,” comments Ken Paterson, Mercator Advisory Group’s VP of Research Operations and author of this overview Outlook for 2016.

Companies mentioned in this document include: Amazon, Apple, Chase, Citi, CVS, Disney, Dunkin’ Donuts, Early Warning, Facebook, Ford, Google, IBM, Kohl’s, Macy’s, MasterCard, Microsoft, PayPal, Rite Aid, Samsung, Starbucks, Tesla, USAA, Visa, Walmart, and Wells Fargo.


The 2017 Payments Outlook summarizes the major themes from Mercator’s advisory services, themes that include:

  • The particular vulnerability of the prepaid segment to regulatory gridlock
  • Major product and transaction routing changes that magnify the regulatory uncertainties for debit
  • Positive business outlook for credit cards, albeit with some growing profitability challenges
  • Increasing interest for fintech solutions within commercial payments—as well as growing fraud risks
  • The emerging role of financial institutions as application platforms
  • The immediate need for payments stakeholders to embrace tokenization, machine learning applications, and application programming interface (API)-based architecture
  • The rising competitive tide of mobile loyalty apps among merchants



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