The judgment to make about the pressure exerted by the COVID-19 virus on the U.S. payments business hinges not only on which changes are important, but which changes are permanent, or portend permanent developments beyond their implementation. The virus affected much, but from the standpoint of payments professionals it acted as an accelerant to processes and trends that were already in place.

Each year, Mercator Advisory Group discusses top trends anticipated for the coming year or two in an 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 2021.