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Payments gets personal—strategies to stay relevant

5-minute read

In brief

  • Next-generation consumer payments are growing rapidly due to changes in consumer behavior, advances in tech and innovative competition.
  • Accenture research finds that over half of consumers in major markets have used tools like digital wallets, which are more popular than credit cards.
  • Economic turbulence is driving consumers to seek more control over their payments choices, with some eager to escape paying interest.
  • Card-issuing banks that take a timid approach to payments innovation could lose out on $89 billion in revenue in the next three years.

The future is digital, even for face-to-face payments

The latest global payments consumer survey from Accenture reveals that next-gen offerings like digital wallets, account-to-account (A2A) and buy now, pay later (BNPL) are rapidly gaining share—and more disruption is coming from biometrics, machine-to-machine and metaverse payments.

Cash is still dominant, but digital wallet adoption is soaring.
Q: Which of the following payment methods do you use at least 5 times per month?

Payments gets personal method frequency chart
Payments gets personal method frequency chart

Digital wallets, for example, are more commonly used than credit cards globally. This might seem surprising, but it lines up with the consumer enthusiasm our research found for frictionless payments solutions like digital wallets, which offer flexibility, speed and ease of use—without sacrificing security.

Next-gen payments have taken off online, but a similar trend is apparent with in-person. Our research projects that in-person usage of next-gen payment methods will double over the next three years.


Currently use next-gen payments as the primary in-person method


Will use next-gen payments as the primary in-person method by 2025

Rising competition and shifting consumer behaviors place revenue at risk

The arrival of these new payments methods is accompanied by new competitors. Our analysis found that those banks slow to invest in next-gen payment options could lose up to $89 billion in revenue between now and 2025.

In turbulent economic times, banks have traditionally had an ace in the hole—consumer trust. That holds true today, but banks can’t count on trust alone for a competitive edge.

Our research found that customers are still willing to try payments solutions from fintechs and other newer players, even if they trust them less. That’s especially true when they are frustrated with their bank’s payments experience or if they have needs their banks are not addressing.

Four strategies to take the pain out of payments

The challenge before incumbent payments players is clear: make it safe for consumers to pay anywhere, anytime, anyhow. To achieve this, they can pursue one or more of the following strategies.

  1. Partner to scale
    Collaborate to defend core payment revenues and lock out new entrants.

  2. Simplicity and speed
    Increase customer intimacy through deep insight into their behaviors and needs. Focus on high-usage applications and new technology like AI.

  3. Niche focus
    Differentiate the brand through a deep understanding of particular consumer pain points and needs.

  4. Beyond payments
    Use dynamic data to play a prominent role in online marketplaces or super-apps and sit at the center of customers’ digital lives.

Whatever strategy they choose, now is the time for payments players to put a stake in the ground that will ensure their future growth and relevance.

To learn more about the future of consumer payments, read “Payments Gets Personal”, a report based on surveys of more than 16,000 consumers in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Frequently asked questions

Our survey found digital wallets to be the most popular next-generation payments option right now, though account-to-account (A2A) and buy now, pay later (BNPL) are also rapidly gaining share. Expect further disruption from biometrics, machine-to-machine and metaverse payments.

A digital wallet is an application that allows payment from a mobile device with no card present. Users can authenticate their smartphone or watch and then leave their wallet at home.

A2A involves moving money directly from one account to another without the need for additional intermediaries or payment instruments such as cards.

BNPL is a short-term financing option that enables consumers to make instant purchases and pay for them in the future, often interest-free and usually in installments.

A super-app is a mobile or web application that provides multiple services, including payment and financial transaction processing. It is a self-contained commerce and communication online platform that embraces many aspects of personal and commercial life.


Sulabh Agarwal

Managing Director – Management Consulting

Edlayne Burr

Managing Director – Payments Lead, Growth Markets