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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:

Stripe has launched Stripe Treasury which allows commerce platforms to offer financial services directly to merchants. Stripe’s offering includes the ability to send, receive, and store funds. Merchants can also access their earned revenue in real-time and transfer it via ACH or wire transfer, spend it using a dedicated card, pay bills, and more. Additionally, Stripe will also expand its partnership with Shopify to launch Shopify Balance, a bank account with a payment card tailored to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Source: Stripe

Rules and standards:

Due to COVID-19, Visa’s original changes to its US interchange rates that were scheduled to take effect in April 2020 were delayed until April 2021. To reflect the impact of COVID-19 on the payments market, Visa has made some further adjustments. Visa will now introduce a lower rate for certain card-not-present (CNP) consumer credit transactions processed using Visa Tokens. Visa has indicated that they intend to incentivize merchants to adopt Visa’s token service to secure e-commerce transactions and mitigate fraud. Additionally, the increases to consumer credit card-present retail rates which were announced previously will not be implemented in April 2021, while physical retail continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Visa

Customers’ evolving expectations:

According to a PYMNTS.com study, consumers are likely to retain shopping habits adopted during the pandemic, even after it ends. The study found that mobile payments penetration has increased, with 41% of consumers saying they use apps more now than before the pandemic to make purchases. This behavior is expected to continue; despite vaccine rollout, roughly three quarters of consumers indicate that they do not plan on conducting in-person shopping in a similar manner to how they did pre-pandemic.

Source: PYMNTS.com


Equifax closed on its $640 million purchase of Kount, a fraud prevention and digital identity technology provider. The acquisition gives Equifax access to Kount’s Identity Trust Global Network, which delivers real-time fraud prevention, along with other data and analytics offerings. Equifax hopes that the purchase will help them better manage customer authentication and optimize consumer experiences.

Source: Kount

New providers:

Google upgraded Google Pay, now offering users the ability to chat, pay each other, and split purchases. Additionally, merchant rewards, offers, and loyalty programs can be directly provisioned in the wallet. Users can also receive periodic snapshots of their spending by linking their bank account to Google Pay. Google also plans to roll out Plex, its mobile-first bank account which will be integrated into Google Pay later this year. Google hopes that the augmented functions of the new app will help it gain further adoption.

Source: Digital Transactions


Walmart and Ribbit Capital, a venture capital firm, are teaming up to create a fintech start-up. The fintech will look to offer affordable financial products for Walmart employees and customers. Additionally, the fintech would complement Walmart’s existing financial services products targeted at the underbanked such as their MoneyCard and money transfer services, among others.

Source: CNBC and Retail Dive

Square is expanding their on-demand delivery capabilities by partnering with DoorDash. Square’s merchant customers now have the option of using DoorDash’s logistics technology and fleet of Dashers to fulfill online orders. Square hopes that such a service will help restaurants and other merchants alleviate the challenges imposed by the pandemic as many cities tighten restrictions.

Source: Square


Walgreens announced its expansion in financial services, initially with proprietary credit and debit cards. The business will be fueled by a partnership with Mastercard, and Synchrony will be the issuer for the credit card program. The cards will be digitally integrated with the myWalgreens app, Walgreens’ new customer loyalty program, and will offer users rewards as well as a wide range of other benefits. With this move, Walgreens hopes to further cement its position as a health and well-being destination.

Source: Walgreens

The Hudson Group, the travel retail company, is partnering with Amazon to pilot Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in select stores. The technology allows customers to scan their credit card upon entering the store and uses cameras and data to detect and record the products customers select. This way, customers can skip checkout lines and exit the store contact free.

Source: Forbes

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, Rob Mau, or Rick Oxenhandler at payments@oliverwyman.com.