Meanwhile, advances in technology help shift emphasis away from physical instruments to electronic mechanisms for value transfer: in most European economies, the use of cash and checks is falling steadily, with debit and credit cards the most widely accepted substitute.
Alternative payments methods are now challenging the established issuer-scheme-acquirer model. The ubiquity of consumer technology is supporting this trend. Face to face transactions are losing ground to purchases made online, while mobile devices are being put forward as a key component of the future payments ecosystem. These changes are attracting new competitors to a domain that has traditionally been the preserve of retail banks.
Oliver Wyman, in cooperation with Efma, conducted a comparative study with over 150 institutions from July to September 2012. We have now published our findings in the accompanying report, Advanced and Mobile Payments: What’s Stopping You?