Study: Merchants worldwide believe real-time payments will eventually eliminate plastic cards

18. June 2018.

Nearly 80 percent of global merchants believe real-time payments will replace the use of payment cards over time, according to new benchmark data from ACI Worldwide.

The benchmark, comprised of responses from executives across the retail, digital goods, hospitality, telecom and travel sectors, also revealed that 65 percent of executives reported interest in accepting real-time payments, up from 57 percent last year.

Other findings from the study include:

  • Of the merchants that believe real-time payments will replace the use of payment cards over time, 77 percent in the U.S. hold this view, despite the reliance on plastic cards in the market. In the Netherlands, 100 percent of the merchants surveyed hold this view following the country’s success with online banking payment schemes.
  • 78 percent of merchants believe real-time payments can help lower costs, more than a 20 percent increase from 2017 (57).
  • 78 percent of merchants now believe real-time payments will deliver improvements in customer service, up from 59 percent in 2017.
  • 82 percent of retailers and 80 percent of telecoms companies see the potential to leverage real-time payments to deliver enhancements to their customer experience.
  • 82 percent of merchants in Asia are most positive about real-time payments delivering enhancements to their customer experience; in India, Malaysia and Thailand, more than 90 percent hold this view.

“As the survey has shown, real-time payments and security are clearly top of mind for merchants today,” Mike Braatz, senior vice president ACI Worldwide, said in a press release. “Driven by customers’ shifting preferences in how they purchase and the channels they purchase through, merchants are finding the need to improve the customer experience and operating efficiency to maintain a competitive edge now and in the future.”

For the 2018 Global Payment Information Survey, Ovum and ACI Worldwide partnered to run a 22-question survey across a global panel of executives, with a focus on retail banks, billing organizations and merchants. The companies conducted the survey between December 2017 and January 2018. Overall, it included a total of 1,032 executive respondents across 13 industry sub verticals in 19 countries, resulting in 225,000 separate data points on current perceptions and investment plans around payments technology on a global basis.

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