The coronavirus pandemic continues to play out around the world, with devastating effects on public health and national economies. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by this potent disease and every major country has reported record declines in gross domestic product. And while COVID-19 appears to be contained in some regions, the transmission rate is accelerating in others.
These developments have directly impacted the global payments industry, with profound consequences for every company in the ecosystem — merchants, processors, networks, issuers, and many others. Yet despite these challenges, as we prepared this issue of Payments Plus, we saw a number of positive developments.
In most markets, payments volumes have rebounded from their steep declines and are now bouncing back, supported by government stimulus and a general re-opening of economies. Payments trends that might have taken three or more years — the migration from cash to card, adoption of contactless payments, the shift to digital commerce — have been achieved in three months. We discuss some of these developments, as well as our ongoing weekly survey of consumer sentiment, in this issue.
The crisis has created both opportunities and headwinds for our clients. We are working with issuers to strengthen their customer propositions, merchants to improve their payment organizations, and payments providers to enhance their commercial effectiveness.
Areas of focus span point-of-sale financing, fraud management, innovative loyalty and pricing approaches, seamless commerce, and payments integration, among others. The work we profile is drawn from the firm’s engagements in different regions and shows how our global intellectual capital and capabilities can drive impact for clients.
Payments Plus is a regular update from Oliver Wyman where we share a sample of perspectives drawn from client work across the Payments Industry.
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