Navigating the payments matrix: Charting a course amid evolution and revolution
The financial-services industry is in the midst of a significant transformation, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. And given the key role digitisation plays in the financial lives of more and more of the world’s population, electronic payments are at the epicentre of this transformation. Payments are increasingly becoming cashless, and the industry’s role in fostering inclusion has become a significant priority.
Payments also are supporting the development of digital economies and are driving innovation—all while functioning as a stable backbone for our economies. We are therefore delighted that the first report we are launching in our 2025 & Beyond series focuses on the payments industry and the key themes that are influencing it. How the industry responds to these trends will define both how successful it is in the coming years and its impact on society overall.
Sending a text to pay for a bus ticket in Turkey, using a QR code to pay for groceries in China, or tapping a sales terminal with a mobile phone in the US.
Even before COVID-19, these ways of paying for goods and services were evidence of a steady shift to digital payments— a shift that might ultimately lead to a cashless global society. Global cashless payment volumes are set to increase by more than 80% from 2020 to 2025, from about 1tn transactions to almost 1.9tn, and to almost triple by 2030, according to analysis by PwC and Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business.
Underneath the shift to cashless lies a larger, more profound change. Not only are traditional ways of paying for goods and services — including the humble paper check and analogue invoices — set for radical transformation, but the entire infrastructure of payments is being reshaped, with new business models emerging.
One of the main challenges at any organisation is determining how to best allocate precious resources to bring about the types of change required to not only manage through the crises of today, but to be successful tomorrow. We’ve created a framework that gives examples of how payment leaders can determine gaps and priorities.