International Payment Networks Facing Emerging Threat from Domestic Competition and m-POS

17 May 2013

The dominant payment brands, such as MasterCard and Visa are facing increasing competition from both newly established domestic networks (most notably RuPay in India and PBOC 3.0 in China) and alternative mobile payment developments including digital wallets and m-POS solutions. ABI Research has forecast that RuPay and PBOC 2.0/3.0 cards will have the largest market impact, accounting for 2% of all cards in circulation in 2013, increasing to 21% in 2018. This will directly eat into the potential growth that the likes of Visa and MasterCard would have targeted.

Despite this, ABI Research believes that international network branded cards will remain dominant. The international players have a strong global footprint which will prove hard to budge paired with improving product lines aimed at extending payment functionality and acceptance including mobile wallets and contactless cards.

“Any new domestic network or card has to be more than a simple payment card,” comments practice director, John Devlin. “With government support, the new domestic networks can focus efforts on targeting the unbanked to bring up the level of financial inclusion, as road mapped within India’s RuPay initiative. This strategy focuses on the untapped market yet to be affected by international networks and local banking practices.”

Within the study, ABI Research took a closer look into the m-POS market, forecasting shipments of m-POS solutions increasing from 6.2 million in 2012 to 21.2 million in 2018.

Research analyst Phil Sealy adds: “In the short-term, m-POS vendors do not provide a specific threat to international networks. In fact, the international networks are encouraging use to increase the likelihood that its branded cards will be used to make a payment. It is in its early days and many may fall by the wayside but the real threat comes when the successful m-POS solution providers follow the PayPal model and enable their own digital wallets and P2P transactions which could completely cut the international networks out of the equation.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Payment and Banking Cards & Contactless Technologies Research Service.

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