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To understand the evolution of the payments landscape, Ovum surveyed retail banks, billing organizations, and merchants to examine the strategic priorities and technology investments that will drive change in 2018 and 2019.


  • At a global level, 51% of all merchants, billing organizations, and retail banks will increase their IT budgets for payments-related projects in 2018, with over a fifth increasing spending by 5% or more on 2017 levels.
  • Real-time payments are now key to planned enhancements to the customer experience for the majority of retail banks, billing organizations, and merchants. Over three in four organizations expect – or are experiencing – customer service gains from real-time payments.
  • At a global level, 78% of banks, 72% of billing organizations, and 68% of merchants hold the view that the combination of real-time payments and open banking will see the importance of payment cards decline over time.

Features and Benefits

  • Learn how enterprises in different regions and segments plan to invest in new payment services to enhance their customer experience, and shape your own roadmaps accordingly.
  • Understand how your peers and competitors are planning to take advantage of real-time payments infrastructure, and avoid getting left behind.
  • See where payments technology investments will grow most strongly, and take advantage of the opportunities this creates.

Key questions answered

  • What are the strategic priorities shaping the payments IT investment decisions of enterprises in 2018?
  • How do enterprises in a range of different sectors view the opportunities of both real-time payments and open banking?
  • At what rate are businesses planning to move their core payments applications to the cloud?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Businesses across all sectors will continue to invest in their payment capabilities in 2018

  • Delivering greater efficiency, alongside innovation, will drive the IT agenda for enterprises in 2018
  • The focus for many organizations will be striking the balance between service innovation and operating efficiencies
  • Personalization and "invisible" payments are the most important improvement areas for merchants and billings organizations
  • Many organizations are enjoying the benefits of lower operating costs as a result of deploying off-the-shelf vendor solutions

Security remains a core challenge across the market

  • Over one in five merchants and billing organizations report that they have suffered a data breach in the previous year

Real-time payments are at the heart of future product and service enhancements

  • The past year has seen a step change in attitudes to real-time payments
  • While attitudes to real-time payments are positive in all regions, those in Asia are particularly keen to deliver customer benefits

Open banking initiatives are set to reshape the value chain and competitive landscape

  • While Europe is ahead of the rest of the world, open banking is now a global phenomenon
  • As with real-time payments, businesses in a range of verticals are interested in the potential benefits of open banking
  • Over time, banks and merchants expect the combination of real-time payments and open banking to eat into card volumes


  • Methodology
  • Author