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Visa Consulting & Analytics

October 2021


2 - 3 Minutes

Reimagining acquiring

Driven by a surge in innovation, an enthusiastic community of new entrants, and a proliferation of new payment experiences, today’s acquiring landscape is more dynamic than ever before. As a result of these changes, many acquirers are reassessing their strategies and business models to determine how best to serve their clients. Visa Consulting & Analytics looks at five merchant acquiring trends and suggests responses for traditional acquirers to remain competitive in this exciting evolution.

Five characteristics of best in class acquirers

Through the work with high-performing bank acquirers across the world’s most competitive and developed acquiring markets, Visa Consulting & Analytics team has identified five characteristics which tend to be shared by the leading players.

CHARACTERISTIC #1: They embrace technology to deliver unique and seamless experiences

CHARACTERISTIC #2: They target key verticals and segments

CHARACTERISTIC #3: They own – and invest in – what is differentiating

CHARACTERISTIC #4: They have a clearly defined partnership strategy and value proposition

CHARACTERISTIC #5: They harness the power of data – both to optimize their business and deliver value to their merchants

Five acquiring trends

TREND #1: Technology players have revolutionized acquiring
Tech-savvy players have entered the market and, together with the most tech-forward acquirers, transformed it. As a result, there is now a proliferation of new go-to-market business models, payment experiences, and acceptance points.

TREND #2: The rise of independent software vendors (ISVs) has required acquirers to re-imagine partner and vertical strategies
Independent software vendors (ISVs) are now providing end-to-end software platforms to specific and tightly-defined merchant segments – such as Shopify for eCommerce merchants, or Lightspeed for restaurants, to outfits like Mindbody for yoga studios, Housecall Pro for field services, or Gingr for pet services.

TREND #3: Merchants, large and small, are demanding more from payment providers
Merchants can select the solution that suits them, under the terms that are most relevant, using the mix of devices and technologies that are most appealing. Applications are submitted online, devices are plug-and-play, and merchants can start accepting payments within minutes.

TREND #4: Increased competition has driven consolidation
In the past five years, the industry has seen a wave of mergers, acquisitions, and investments. These mergers and acquisitions aren’t just about scale. They are also about extending capabilities with merchants.

TREND #5: The shift to digital payments has accelerated
All the indications suggest that the changes brought by pandemic are here to stay – driven by consumer demand, and enabled by acquirer-side investment and innovation.

“In the acquiring ecosystem, with so much happening so quickly, there is an imperative to set the right course – but also an opportunity to create winning strategies that drive growth and add value to different types of merchants in both the physical and digital world,” says Walter Lironi, Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Lironi suggests five key steps for banks to consider when rethinking their acquiring strategies.

STEP #1: Understand and quantify the strategic value acquiring can create

STEP #2: Formulate a clear strategy

STEP #3: Know where you can compete and win

STEP #4: Know how to compete and win

STEP #5: Determine the necessary resources, capabilities, and infrastructure

For more insights on merchant acquiring, please read our full white paper here. To find out how we can help you address any of the ideas discussed, please get in touch with our Visa Consulting & Analytics team.

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All brand names, logos and/or trademarks are the property of their respective owners, are used for identification purposes only, and do not necessarily imply product endorsement or affiliation with Visa.

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