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Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Payment Industry?

Over the past decade, financial technology firms have greatly changed the way we pay for goods and services. In 2016, the global payments industry was responsible for 34% of overall banking revenues, and in 2020 the payments industry was worth $2 trillion. The industry is both massive and varied, with examples of financial technologies currently in use including real-time online transactions, peer-to-peer lending, and biometric authentication methods

What Does the Payment Industry Look Like in 2021?

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021 is thought to have accelerated the growth of the online payments industry by two or three years, as the lockdowns and restrictions changed consumer spending habits and methods.

Consumers have been moving away from cash for some time; debit and credit cards are now the most popular way to pay in-store. However, mobile wallets such as Apple Pay are growing in popularity.

E-commerce has become quicker, easier and more convenient – thanks to the rise of the smartphone – and as a result it has attracted a bigger share of the retail market. Digital peer-to-peer payment apps are also on the rise, which has helped to make cash an almost redundant form of payment. Even industries that have previously been dominated by cash or cheque payments, such as B2B payments and remittances, are starting to react to the move towards digital payments.

Which Companies Are Included in the Payments Ecosystem?

The payment industry is divided into a number of different services and operations. Payment networks include companies such as Visa, Maestro and AmEx, whilst issuers are companies such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Bank of America, Citi and Capital One. Acquirers and processors include PayPal, Paysafe, Intuit and Square, and many of these companies – PayPal and Square, for example – are also gateways and facilitators, along with other companies such as Shopify and Syncapay. Finally, there are ISOs, MSPS, ISVS and VARS, which include companies such as Fidelity, Paywire, Vizypay and Versapay.