Recent Edgar, Dunn & Company's analyses of select industry issues and trends, along with our perspectives on how business leaders can address these evolutions in their marketplace:

June 2014 

By Jane Cloninger, Director, and David Whitelaw, Director

Canadian financial institutions are facing increasing competition for customers and to successfully compete they must innovate, rolling out new products and services quickly at the lowest practical cost. Credit unions are competing for the same set of customers as bigger banks and thus are facing the same set of competitive dynamics. However, while they compete with each other, they also cooperate on certain elements of their business, including back-end shared services such as clearing systems and switching. While this allows credit unions to gain economies of scale and be more competitive against the country’s largest banks, it must be done in a manner that enables individual credit unions to differentiate themselves in the market. 

Periodically, credit unions, both individually and collectively, have an opportunity to evaluate their shared service environment, and specifically the option of whether they, as a group, rely on a single provider for a specific service or a competitive market for the service. 

As the market determines how it will approach transaction switching, it is helpful to evaluate the options using a framework that highlights key determinants of success for a shared service in the financial services industry. Based upon experiences with monopolies and competitive environments in Canada and other markets, one such framework includes the following five perspectives:

  1. Economies of Scale; 
  2. Ability of Service to Capture the Entire Market; 
  3. Governance;
  4. Innovation; and
  5. Pricing.

Figure 1: Analytical framework

In this white paper, which was commissioned by DC Payments and represents the independent view of Edgar, Dunn & Company based upon research conducted in the market, EDC walks through the framework to evaluate the options for Canadian credit unions as it pertains to shared services for payments.

With regards to transaction switching services, the potential for economies of scale means that it is possible that a monopoly provider would provide near-term cost advantages in the market. However, they may not be as significant as anticipated because today’s infrastructure already supports multiple services, thereby keeping costs down, and the fact that the monopoly provider is unlikely to capture the entire market. Furthermore, maintaining competition is more likely to create balanced governance and support innovation in the market, as well as maintain market-supported, reasonable price levels over a longer period of time. Taken together, this suggests that there are significant risks to achieving the potential benefits of a single provider model. Analysis of all the factors suggests that credit unions are more likely to receive a higher level of service and a superior choice in products at a reasonable price in a competitive environment than they are in a monopoly environment.

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Authors: Mark Beresford Director of the Retail Payments Practice, David Whitelaw, Director, North America.

The mPOS (mobile POS) proposition has recently experienced a surge in popularity, with a host of new solutions looking to establish a presence.  mPOS is definitely an interesting development and will cause disruption as companies continue to push the boundaries and develop innovative propositions.  The point of interaction between the retailer and consumer in physical stores is undergoing the most significant change in many years.  mPOS provides significant opportunities for existing companies and new ones, but due to the competition, it is important to have a clear strategy in the market. 

This white paper is aimed at people in a variety of different roles.  The goal is to provide the reader with an understanding of the bigger mPOS landscape, how the ecosystem within it operates today, and how it is likely to evolve in the future.

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 By: Samee Zafar, Jane Cloninger and Gregoire Toussaint

More than a decade has passed since the first discussions about the promise of mobile commerce, and there has been an untold number of innovative form factors and solutions introduced by both new and established players in the payments industry. Technology changes are redefining the mobile landscape with cloud based NFC payments possibly replacing the need for SIM based NFC as well as advancements in cloud based solutions and the emergence of BLE as an alternative to NFC. The value proposition for both consumers and merchants is also significantly evolving based on changing needs and the development of new services.

Against that backdrop, the 2014 Advanced Payments Report, written by Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC) and published by Payment Cards and Mobile (PCM),  provides comprehensive perspectives to gain a better understanding of the status of the mobile payments industry, including but not limited to:

  • Success factors, drivers and challenges
  • Drivers for merchants and consumers
  • Impacts of technologies, services, data and security on the mobile value proposition

The Advanced Payments Report 2014 is based on a review of the global payments landscape, surveys of payments industry stakeholder opinion, and discussions with more than 500 industry executives and thought leaders.

 If you are unable to download the report, please contact Gregoire Toussaint.

English >> Click to Download PDF


By: Mark Beresford and Max Shinerock

This is the second annual EDC retailer survey and payments continue to be a hot topic for retailers. Consumers have an increasing array of choices when making a payment and they have greater empowerment in this choice and the channel they wish to transact. Cash, plastic cards, contactless, e‐wallets, m‐wallets, banks transfers are all contributing to the payment mix that both consumers and retailers must now consider and support. Retailers are also placing greater emphasis on what consumers perceive in‐store or online and how they treat marketing information during their browsing, researching, decision making and purchasing at the point‐of-sale or on the checkout page.

We have found that the sheer volume of information available to retailers is unprecedented, even for brands that have years of experience analysing customer data. Monetising data will be key for retailers. Retailers are also introducing in‐store kiosks, free Wi‐Fi, and arming their sales staff with mobile devices. These devices allow staff to better serve web-savvy customers face to face, and introduce a new point of interaction that could be in the changing room or where the shopper happens to browsing. For consumers there will be a greater blurring of the lines between online and offline retailing. The design of the traditional “pay here” checkout desk or point of sale is undergoing a complete rethink.

This year the survey has shown that loyalty combined with mobile payment will be a priority for retailers. Last year it was recognised that mobile payment would be important but the shift has been toward the need to combine loyalty with mobile. Both the survey results and the telephone interviews have indicated that loyalty combined with mobile payment will be widely adopted by consumers within the next two years.

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By: Mark Beresford and Shanta Paratian 

This white paper, developed by EDC, discusses the concept of Click & Collect and its impact on payments from both a retailer and consumer’s perspective.  With the aim of analysing and comparing the current situation across Europe, EDC draws upon its research, client engagements and in-market interviews with leading retailers in the UK, German and French markets, the three countries that represent the largest multichannel retail sales in Europe.

Prior to the Internet boom in the 1990s, shopping was strictly associated to traditional face-to-face stores and telephone/mail order.  Today, with the expansion of e-commerce, social media and mobile devices, shoppers can connect with retailers through a variety of channels / platforms, research products and find a range of offers before making their final purchasing decision.

Click & Collect (C&C) has become one of the priorities in the retail arena. Widening the sales opportunities for retailers, C&C enables retailers to firstly attract customers to their online stores and then bring them into their physical stores. The C&C option has enabled retailers to extend their range of collection point strategies, favouring to a certain degree growth in the customer base, an increased multichannel sales volume and a reduction in delivery failures.  C&C is now becoming a crucial service for most tier 1 and 2 merchants.  The C&C model of delivery has become a key part of the approach of providing customers with any product, anywhere, any time.  For both bricks and mortar and pure online retailers, C&C promises customers the convenience of browsing, purchasing online and picking up items at their leisure at locations of their choice.  With this multichannel background, 'Payments' remains a key aspect of the relationship between customers and retailers.  But what is actually the impact of the relatively new C&C option on payments from a retailer's standpoint?


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By: Mark Beresford and Max Shinerock

Since the 1960s, traditional retail marketing theory has been based on the four 'pillars', or ‘The Four Ps’: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. However, taken in isolation, these pillars are a remnant of a different world – one where the marketers and the retailers were king. In today's world, the consumer has come to the fore, and retail strategy must become a consumer-oriented model, rather than a retailer-oriented one.

Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC) believes that two new factors will move to the foreground of any successful retail strategy:

  • Consumer preference – the focus of retail strategy has shifted to satisfying consumer needs, and retail strategies should be built with the consumer at the centre: obtain a single customer view through aligning data across sales channels, optimise payments (both acceptance and process), and create a seamless shopping experience designed around consumers' preferences.
  • Technology – over the past few years, rapid consumer adoption of emerging technologies has facilitated changes in shopping behaviour. From mobile commerce and self service to social media, both retailers and consumers have had to adapt to the new ways in which they interact with each other.

Working in concert, these two factors will drive emerging retail trends over the next ten years. Driven by consumer preferences, technology is facilitating significant changes in the retail landscape – from enabling new sales channels, driving social interaction and giving access to new customer analytics, to providing consumers with entirely new ways to interact and ultimately, transact with a retailer.

EDC has found that successful retailers place the consumer at the centre of their retail strategy in order to enhance the customer experience and provide greater speed and convenience of service. A content-rich customer experience has become the norm in online retailing; EDC expects that this will transcend into the physical retail environment, creating a future where m-commerce, e-commerce and in store shopping become a single integrated shopping experience.

This paper presents ten trends that EDC believes will significantly impact the retail industry over the next ten years and their effects on consumer payments.

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By: Mark Beresford, Pascal BurgGrégoire Toussaint and Boris Jottreau

In a multichannel environment, the emergence of connected commerce is changing consumer purchasing habits and creates "cross channel" shopping experience.  Retailers face structural changes and need to define an integrated multichannel strategy.

EDC believes that an integrated multichannel strategy is key to growth for retailers. A multichannel strategy creates significant payment issues but payments are key in linking different sales channels and, when positioned at the heart of an integrated multichannel strategy, can generate significant opportunities for retailers.

EDC would suggest a three-step approach to optimise payment acceptance and benefit from opportunities to link payments and an integrated multichannel strategy:

Step 1: Where are you now? Conduct a 360° Payments Diagnostic

Step 2: Where do you want to go? Define a payments optimisation plan

Step 3: Are you getting there? Establish a programme of on-going monitoring and management

Edgar, Dunn & Company partnered with the Merchant Risk Council to analyse the links between multichannel and payments.  This study is based on the findings collected (a) from an online survey among retailer members of the Merchant Risk Council and (b) from individual interviews undertaken with several large retailers.

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2013 Advanced Payments Report

By: Samee Zafar and Jane Cloninger

Last year delivered some very important developments in the mobile payments space. We saw big announcements from a host of mobile payments stakeholders, presenting us with new retailer, payment network and mobile operator driven initiatives.  Cloud based solutions emerged as legitimate contenders along with the long standing NFC solutions.  Competition within the mobile POS space intensified.  The increasing penetration of smart phones and mobile tablets are making the user experience much richer and contributing to channel convergence and an emerging omni-channel retailing approach.  Questions have been raised about which players will drive growth, what are the key success factors and which strategies will ultimately promote the success of mobile payments.

Addressing these trends and questions, Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC), in partnership with Payment Cards and Mobile (PCM), have published the latest edition of the Advanced Payments Report.

The Advanced Payments Report 2013, sponsored by First Data, is based on a review of the global payments landscape, surveys of payments industry stakeholder opinion, and discussions with more than 500 industry executives and thought leaders


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By: Mark Beresford, Gregoire Toussaint & Max Shinerock

Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC) believes we are currently standing at the crossroads of a substantial change in retailing and how consumers pay.  The genesis of this change has been the use of the internet, the prevalence of e-commerce since the turn of the millennium and the rapid consumer adoption of smartphones.

In the next 5 to 10 years EDC expects that changing consumer preferences and technological developments (e.g. mobile payments) accompanied by the emergence of a number of new retailer business models and sales channels will have a substantial impact on the retail landscape.  Change in the way consumers pay for goods and services will be fast.  Largely driven by technology, consumers are responding positively to innovation and many retailers are finding this a challenge to be up-to-date and respond to the expected change.

EDC conducted a survey in order to gain a better understanding of how change related to payments is affecting the way multichannel retailers are doing business, creating opportunities to increase sales, enhancing customer service and optimising payments to differentiate its customer proposition.


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Authors: Pascal Burg and Grégoire Toussaint

(See the press release here.)

Steria, a leading provider of IT-driven business services, in partnership with Edgar, Dunn & Company, an international strategy consultancy specialized in payments, have published a report about SEPA. The report, mainly focused on SEPA Direct Debit, is based on a phone survey of 300 businesses in France, Germany and the UK completed by market research company CSA. Edgar, Dunn & Company has also completed more than 15 in-depth interviews among large corporates and payments experts in Europe.

Steria and Edgar, Dunn & Company have structured this paper to provide stakeholders with a better understanding of key aspects related to SEPA Direct Debit: the awareness of SEPA, the impact of and the migration status to SEPA Direct Debit, and the way businesses will migrate to SEPA Direct Debit.

A majority of surveyed businesses are aware of SEPA, but most do not have a full understanding of SEPA and its consequences. More than one business out of five issuing direct debits are not even aware of SEPA Direct Debit. A thorough assessment of SEPA Direct Debit’s impact should not only identify required IT changes but also help to re-design cash management processes. SEPA is indeed an opportunity to consider the consolidation of banking relationships across multiple countries, create synergies (e.g. through the creation of a European structure to collect payments across multiple countries) and optimize cash management systems and processes.

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The shift from traditional, separated retail channels towards seamlessly integrated multichannel strategies is becoming a reality as a result of technological developments in advanced payments such as m-commerce and e-commerce.  Developing an integrated multichannel strategy (fashionably referred to as “Omnichannel” retailing) can be the key to a differentiated shopping experience for customers and lead to additional benefits and sales growth for retailers. 

The dynamic nature of the multichannel ecosystem is continuing to create new growth opportunities for retailers.  However, there are challenges for prospective retailers who are embarking on the road to a fully integrated multichannel strategy.  Investment in customer-facing services often neglects the importance of optimising back-end processes such as payment acceptance.

This white paper examines the opportunity for forward-thinking retailers to differentiate themselves by placing the customer’s payment process at the centre of their integrated multichannel strategy.

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The world’s population is bursting at the seams and is estimated to be nearing 7 billion. Nothing in the history of consumer products has ever come close to the penetration reached by mobile devices which are estimated to be around 5.5 billion – equally popular in all parts of the globe – irrespective of economic conditions or geographic location. In many developed markets the number of mobile devices has overtaken the size of the population. Smart phones and mobile tablet devices are making the mobile experience a lot richer and more useful than ever before. More and more, we see the migration of communication on a mobile device from the ear to the eye.

Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC), in partnership with Payment Cards and Mobile (PCM) have published the latest edition of the Advanced Payments Report.

The Advanced Payments Report 2012, sponsored by MasterCard Worldwide, is based on a review of the global payments landscape, surveys of payments industry stakeholder opinion, and discussions with more than 500 industry executives and thought leaders.  This report focuses on mobile financial services and payments. It provides a comprehensive background to the evolving payments marketplace and the key trends such as the emergence of mobile wallets and potential propositions that can be offered as illustrated in the report by mobile payment opportunity matrix. The report covers all types of mobile payments and provides insights into the state of development of each. It also discusses risk management and security issues relating to mobile commerce. Mobile payments for businesses are also included. A separate section highlights the strategic drivers and motivations for offering mobile payments in emerging economies where the lack of access to banking services is making it easier for people to bank and make payments. The report also contains the findings of a mobile payments survey undertaken online across multiple markets highlighting feedback received from banks, mobile operators, technology and platform providers, regulators, payment services providers, and other stakeholders.


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At the Prepaid 2011 Conference in London this summer Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC) conducted a survey of approximately 100 international prepaid industry players.

This paper presents the survey results and contrasts them with EDC market knowledge and hypotheses.

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Despite recent progress, would-be mobile payments providers in Australia are still no closer to establishing a widely-accepted business model that will underpin what is likely to be the fastest growing payment method and channel over the coming decade.  Written in conjunction with a panel discussion amongst industry professionals from telecom, banking, and the payment schemes, this paper explores issues and challenges in cross-industry cooperation that will be necessary to for a broad-based mobile payments offering.

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Le cabinet de conseil en stratégie Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC), en partenariat avec l'institut de sondage CSA, a réalisé une étude sur l'utilisation du chèque en France pour le Comité consultatif du secteur financier (CCSF). Cette étude, lancée pendant la période de novembre 2010 à février 2011, fait suite au rapport Pauget-Constans. EDC a analysé l'utilisation du chèque en France par les particuliers et les entreprises, à la fois en paiement et en encaissement, afin de révéler leurs comportements et les tendances clés. Ce rapport illustre aussi la place du chèque à travers une comparaison du marché du chèque en France et en Europe ainsi qu’une analyse des dispositions juridiques et du circuit d’encaissement. Les entretiens menés avec des acteurs clés complètent cette analyse présentant une vue d'ensemble du chèque en France.

The Comité consultatif du secteur financier (CCSF) asked Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC) to conduct an independent study on the usage of cheque in France. This study includes findings from phone interviews among 1,000 consumers and 500 companies completed by the research agency CSA, and EDC has also interviewed more than 50 organisations (e.g., banks, large firms, professional associations and consumer associations). This study that took place from November 2010 to February 2011 provides for the first time a complete overview of cheque usage in France.

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For the fourth year running, Edgar, Dunn & Company has conducted a survey of payments professionals globally on key industry dynamics in their markets. The response to this year’s survey involved 685 professionals representing 50 countries.

The survey questions were focused on four main topics:

  • Current and future importance of individual payment products
  • Expected future importance of payment technologies
  • Most influential market participants
  • Key industry events that will shape payments markets

The findings illustrate where common themes are developing globally in relation to future trends and, perhaps more interestingly, highlight the key differences in expectations between regions and countries.

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Internet, mobile and contactless payments are expected to soar according to a new Advanced Payments Report from Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC) in partnership with Payments Card & Mobile magazine (PCM).

The Advanced Payments Report 2011, sponsored by MasterCard Worldwide, is based on a review of the global payments landscape, surveys of payment industry stakeholder opinion, and discussions with more than 650 industry executives and thought leaders.

Click to Download PDF >> English

For the third year running, Edgar, Dunn & Company has conducted a survey of payments professionals globally on key industry dynamics in their markets. The response to this year’s survey involved 548 professionals representing 48 countries.

The survey questions were focussed on five main topics:

  • Current and future importance of individual payment products
  • Expected future importance of payment technologies
  • Most influential market participants
  • Key industry events that will shape payments markets
  • The findings illustrate where common themes are developing globally in relation to future trends and, perhaps more interestingly, highlight the key differences in expectations between regions and countries.

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