This article was first published on April 8, 2020.
Editor's note: Oliver Wyman is monitoring the COVID-19 events in real time, and we have compiled resources to help our clients and the industries they serve. Please continue to monitor the Responding To Coronavirus Hub for updates.
This is clearly a very challenging time, and the once unstoppable payments market has shown that it is not immune to profound effects of the pandemic. Revenues have plummeted as shopping, traveling, and eating out have all come to a stand-still, and survival risk now needs to be added to increased payments risks for many businesses – merchants, processors, and banks.
Amid these seismic changes, one thing is certain. Without much fanfare, COVID-19 has just sped up the shift we have all been experiencing in payments. Instead of the slow march to digital, we are seeing five years of change condensed into a couple months. Shifting to online commerce, contactless transactions, digital wallets, and even fraud attacks have all made significant moves.
In this paper, we capture some of what we have heard from clients across the value chain and geographies. Some of these items will be short-term in nature, while others will become trends that create lasting change. The good news is that the fundamentals of the industry remain sound. It is a large, growing, and accessible market. In prior downturns payments has rebounded relatively quickly, benefiting from long-term secular trends and a willingness to embrace innovation to create value for all.
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