Decoupled Debit: The Start of Mainstream Adoption?


Merchants looking to tie loyalty to a payment product may find a solution in decoupled debit

Mercator Advisory Group releases new research on decoupled debit, its benefits for merchants, and the threat it poses to bank-based debit.

Author: Sarah Grotta
Published on: March 8, 2017

Decoupled debit, a payment form that lets consumers pay for purchases directly from their checking accounts, has been quietly and slowly gathering users where meaningful rewards are a part of the offering. It is a payment form that allows merchants to circumvent the card networks for a less expensive payment transaction.

Mercator Advisory Group’s new report Decoupled Debit: The Start of Mainstream Adoption? provides an understanding of the current decoupled debit market in the U.S. and how it works, why the current payment industry environment may foster more decoupled debit programs, indicators that decoupled debit may be gaining popularity and thus threatening bank-based debit, and the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in the European Union.

“Decoupled debit is a payments product to watch for future development and growth. It offers merchants most of the benefits they seek in a payment—namely, independence from the card networks, less expensive transaction processing costs, a platform to extend rewards, and less fraud than traditional card transactions,” commented Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group and author of the report.

This report has 14 pages and 3 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: First Data, MasterCard, Target, VocaLink, and ZipLine.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Current market sizing
  • A look at current decoupled programs
  • Decoupled debit in the European Union
  • Product challenges
  • Market forces that are providing growth opportunities


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