Debit cards retain their “King of Payments” title for another year, but the decline in savings rates and fewer government benefit disbursements signal slower payment growth for debit cards for the remainder of 2021 and 2022. The market for ‘pay now’ products, including real-time payments, push payments, ACH, and alike, continues to achieve strong growth through traditional and fintech channels.

As Mercator Advisory Group forecasts the U.S. market for debit cards and alternative payment products, we find good potential in the near term. However, growth may be interrupted by unanticipated consequences of the global pandemic and newly installed regulators looking to take an active role. 2022 has the potential for disruptive surprises.