First Data's Market Intelligence Group has published a research study on the payments marketplace.
The study is based on interviews with prominent and influential research analysts.
Not too surprisingly, the paper found that payment methods are converging, paper checks are increasingly being converted into electronic payments, and consumers want convenience. Other findings:
* The most popular developments are in the area of speeding up transactions, such as increased acceptance for low-value purchases at quick service restaurants and elsewhere, contactless payments and the emergence of new generation multipurpose cards.
* ATMs are becoming more versatile, adding bill-payment, check deposit imaging and Internet banking to the many already existing services. As potential ATM capabilities and customization grow, it is expected that costs will decrease and customer choice of a financial institution could include ATM functionality as a key criterion.
* One leading industry analyst noted that 90% of point-of-sale (POS) debit transactions today occur with PIN-enabled terminals. The growing availability of PIN-debit at the POS is good news for the 47% of debit-card users who, according to a recent First Data survey, prefer PIN-payment as a more secure method.
* With nearly 300-million debit cards nationwide, more than a quarter of all purchases made in U.S. retail stores use PIN-secured debit at the retail POS. Internet retailers are eager to implement PIN-secured debit to lower payment costs and meet their customer preferences.
* Electronic check-image exchange is expected to reduce industry-wide operating costs by an estimated $2.1 billion annual, according to the study.
For more info: www.firstdata.com.