Merchant Payments Digest - 34th Edition

The Merchant Payments Digest is a regular update from Oliver Wyman to keep merchants apprised of developments in the rapidly shifting payments space.


Transformational payments solutions:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Square a patent for a payments system allowing payments to be made and received by different parties in any currency in real-time. Square expects the acceptance of cryptocurrencies by merchants to be the primary use case of the payments system. Currently, cryptocurrency is too slow to process and too volatile to be an effective payment method. Square expects the new solution to make cryptocurrencies viable by automatically processing currency conversions, thereby benefitting both merchants and consumers by offering them choice and privacy in their payment methods.

Source: CoinDesk


Rules and standards:

Visa announced changes to the interchange rates U.S. merchants pay to accept Visa’s credit, debit, and prepaid cards. Rates will increase for eCommerce transactions, while they will decrease for transactions in certain service categories, such as real estate and education. For the service category including large supermarkets, premium-card transactions of $50 will drop 33% in terms of interchange rates. The new rates will be rolled out in April and October as part of a two-part implementation plan designed to give processors more time to implement the changes.

Source: Bloomberg


Customers’ evolving expectations:

Visa and Mastercard expect a shortfall in revenue due to coronavirus concerns globally. Visa said cardholder spending overseas had especially been impacted for travel-related spending. Visa expects growth to be 2.5-3.5% lower than anticipated. However, Visa reported that cross-border eCommerce has not been impacted yet, except for travel spending and in some Asian markets. Mastercard also knocked 2-3% off their forecasts for the current quarter.

Source: PYMNTS


Data:Tencent and UnionPay announced plans to integrate their QR code systems allowing for data interoperability. The new agreement will allow consumers to scan the same merchant QR code to transfer money and pay for purchases, regardless of whether they are using UnionPay’s Quickpass or Tencent’s WeChat Pay. With the new agreement, UnionPay hopes to gain a larger portion of the mobile payments market in China, which has long been dominated by Tencent and Alipay, while Tencent aims to compete more effectively with the traditional banking sector which backs Quickpass.

Source: Bloomberg


New providers:

Goldman Sachs is in talks with Amazon about offering small business loans to merchants on Amazon’s e-commerce platform. According to the source, Goldman is developing software that would allow it to connect with Amazon’s existing loan platform. For the past several years Amazon has lent to small businesses that sell on its site, using the data it holds on their cash positions. The move will help significantly extend Amazon’s existing small and medium business lending infrastructure and provide e-commerce merchants with access to digital loans and services.

Source: CNBC


  • Worldline, a financial services company, announced plans to acquire Ingenico, a point-of-sale terminal provider. This deal will provide both companies with greater economies of scale to boost returns amidst a changing commerce landscape. Many merchants are using a number of new payment channels, including smaller fintechs. As an incumbent player, Worldline is hoping to better compete with fintechs, such as Stripe and Adyen in the merchant services space.

    Source: TechCrunch

  • The People’s Bank of China has approved Mastercard’s application to set up a bank card clearing business in China. Mastercard will partner with NetsUnion Clearing Corp. to set up the new capability, which will allow Mastercard to gain access to China’s $27 TN payments market. This announcement builds on China’s 2015 policy, which opened up its payments markets allowing foreign bank-card clearing providers to obtain licenses by setting up units or acquiring a local company.

    Source: Bloomberg



  • ExxonMobil consumers with Amazon Alexa-enabled vehicles will now be able to pay for gas by simply saying “Alexa, pay for gas” when they arrive at an ExxonMobil station. Transactions will be powered by Fiserv and processed using Amazon Pay, allowing consumers to use the payment information stored in their Amazon account. The new capability will initially be available later this year at 11,500 ExxonMobil stations across the U.S.

    Source: Business Wire

  • QR code payments which are popular in other emerging markets are now available in the U.S. Makers & Finders, a Las Vegas restaurant, is the first to use the new service Scan to Pay, which allows consumers to scan a QR code on their printed bill to pay for their meal with Apple Pay. Consumers do not need an app to access this feature—they can simply use their iPhone’s camera to pay and add a tip. According to the restaurant, this feature offers a more seamless payment experience for consumers and increases the speed at which they can pay.

    Source:NFC World

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting with offices in 60 cities across 29 countries. Our Payments practice works with constituents across the payments value chain to deliver insights with real impact, combining deep industry expertise with powerful consulting capabilities.

To have a discussion with Oliver Wyman on your payments issues and opportunities, please contact Beth Costa or Rob Mau at

Note that Oliver Wyman believes the curated content to be reliable, but it has not been verified.  As such, Oliver Wyman gives no warranty as to the accuracy of such information.  Oliver Wyman’s curation of such content should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the organizations that published the content.