Payments revenue globally is poised to expand by 5.9% annually through 2028, maintaining a growth streak that started after the 2008 recession and adding about $1.0 trillion to the payments revenue pool—raising the total to roughly $2.5 trillion. But attaining growth above GDP levels will be difficult for established players. In order to gain or maintain leading market positions, they must accelerate digitization, gain scale, and realize the potential of developing markets.
Moreover, the number of nascent competitors pursuing different points along the value chain is expanding, creating a tumultuous competitive landscape as they concentrate on the most promising niches and chip away at incumbents’ profit centers. Although the traditional payments ecosystem is not in immediate danger, established players cannot give ground in strategic areas without eventually losing momentum in their core businesses. To maintain their relevance and achieve strong revenue expansion, these players must adopt a laser-like focus, identifying areas that are most likely to be crucial in the future and choosing those where their inherent advantages can come to the fore.