In brief

In brief

  • Payments is primed to grow thanks to innovation, changing consumer behavior, and a surge in payments fintech funding.
  • Many incumbent payments providers are struggling to capitalize on trends and innovations as rapidly as they’d like.
  • Our new research identifies how payments growth leaders are investing in new, compelling value propositions to outgrow the competition.
  • The future of payments will belong to those that can harness technology transformation, ecosystem participation and operating model renewal to drive new value propositions.

Payments is poised to expand. It is also a hotbed of disruption and innovation. This is no coincidence.

Our Growth in Payments report highlights three disruptive forces that are driving change and creating opportunities for growth: the launch of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), changing customer behaviors and expectations (largely due to the pandemic) and the adoption of new, emerging digital technologies like artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

In some segments of the market, like international transfers and small merchant acquiring, the payments disruptors have already capitalized on these trends to build large businesses by driving fees down, squeezing banks’ margins and building scale.

Payments trends like the ongoing displacement of cash, new payments options like request to pay, digital currencies and buy now, pay later services (BNPL) are all creating exciting opportunities for those able to seize them. For the most part, these are payments fintechs and digital native disruptors.

However, a select few incumbent banking institutions and payments processors—we call them Payments Growth Leaders—have thrived amidst this disruption and outgrown the market over the last three years.

The future of payments is bright. Some industry players will shine brighter than others.

Our report shows that Payments Growth Leaders are setting themselves apart by investing in compelling new value propositions that focus on innovative payment methods to anticipate customers’ emerging needs and expectations.

Accenture Growth in payments top growth strategies

To follow these leaders, other incumbent banks and payment providers will need to sharpen their own value propositions and create payments experiences that fit seamlessly into the lives of customers—anywhere, anytime and, increasingly, anyhow.

Take the friction out of the process

Bring together disjointed systems and channels into an integrated commerce experience—allowing customers to pay how they want.

Push the purpose lever

Align to customers’ values by providing payments services that advance their financial health, the good of society, and environmental sustainability.

Go beyond the payment

Find growth in value-added services like data monetization, SME e-commerce solutions, personalized journeys for consumers, and identity verification.

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Three ways to reach new heights in the future of payments

Our research and conversations with Payments Growth Leaders suggest that tomorrow’s front-runners will harness three key enablers to drive new value propositions that will help them reach new heights:

  1. Using the efficiencies of technology transformation to build the agility that makes continuous payments innovation possible. The cloud, big data and API platforms will all play key roles in this transformation.
  2. Renewing operating models to shift their primary focus from operations and onto putting product and customer needs first.
  3. Keeping ahead of customers’ expectations through ecosystem partnerships that allow them to choose where and how they want to reach customers. This can include banking-as-a-service or payments-as-a-service through white-label partnerships with third-parties like super-apps.

You can find more detail in our full report on what future payments leaders are doing today.

To unlock payments growth, banks and payments providers will need to sharpen their value propositions, embedding payments seamlessly into the flow of life and work.

Frequently asked questions

Tomorrow’s payments leaders are finding growth opportunities in value-added services like data monetization, using the cloud to expedite time-to-market for new products, and the displacement of cash through payment options like request to pay and account-to-account transfers.

One of the most important current payments trends is the tremendous progress that has been made in letting people and organizations pay and get paid anywhere and at any time. This includes complex payments like cross-border and B2B transactions. Specific propositions include account-to-account transfers (A2A), request to pay, buy now, pay later (BNPL) and super-apps.

The next revolution in payments will likely come from the logical extension of this trend—allowing customers to pay anyhow they want. This trend will be given impetus by the move from walled-garden payments services towards open networks with lower barriers to entry.

Consumer data is only valuable if it can be used to personalize experiences and influence commerce. As the data around payments continues to grow, payments providers are developing cohesive strategies to store, protect, and monetize the data they handle.

In the simplest terms, PaaS embeds the payments experience in a non-payments consumer offering. Most often, PaaS is the result of a partnership. For example, a payments provider might team up with smartphone messaging app to allow customers to seamlessly send payments through an app message.

Sulabh Agarwal

Managing Director – Global Payments Lead

Margaret Weichert

Managing Director – Payments Lead, North America

Edlayne Burr

Managing Director – Payments Lead, Growth Markets


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Disruption and opportunity in digital payments
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