News & Views - Savantor

Trends in the payments market

Saturday, 16 November 2019

BIS has just released its annual Red Book report on payments and financial infrastructures, compiled in co-operation with central banks and other national authorities. The statistics presented demonstrate how the payments landscape continues to evolve, driven by a variety of factors including innovation and technology, consumer preferences, new market players, new systems and new methods.

Increasingly, systems offering near instant person-to-person retail payments are available around the world, with many payment systems operating seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The combination of innovation and consumer preference continues to shift payments towards more convenient electronic payment methods with the statistics showing that the value of card payments relative to GDP is increasing in most countries.

The value of small denomination notes and coins in circulation is either decreasing or remaining static. Conversely, large denomination notes (typically used as an alternative to bank deposits) is generally increasing. The net result of this means that the total cash in circulation has grown in most countries and that the ‘cashless society’ is still some way in the future. The exception to this is Sweden where cash in circulation is decreasing and mobile payments are booming at the expense of card payments.

Convenience is seen to be a key driver in choice of payment method, with the number of contactless cards per consumer rising rapidly in both advanced and emerging markets. In addition, consumers are increasingly using debit or credit cards when abroad. Cross-border card payments have grown twice as fast as domestic payments since 2012.

The introduction of new players into the market has brought with it both innovation and policy changes. Competition from both fintechs and the big tech companies has impacted the traditional bank-based landscape. Non-banks now account for about a quarter of the institutions offering payment services or payment instruments, up from 14% in six years.

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