The Retail 'Point-of-Sale' Is At The Center Of A Huge Battle To Control Electronic Payments


Payment Card Transaction Breakdown


The payment registers at retail stores are the most important links in the chain that processes last year's $4 trillion in U.S. credit and debit card volume, according to BI Intelligence estimates.


But many of the payment terminals in U.S. run on fairly primitive technology and hardware. Legacy payment companies and manufacturers of point-of-sale systems are competing with a new generation of payment tech companies to update the cash register - and the software that powers it.

That said, the electronic payment industry isn't going to change over night. These startups are entering into an extremely complex space, where longstanding sales relationships determine what systems get into which retail locations.

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In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we look at the complicated series of interactions among different legacy players around the point-of-sale and the credit card industry, outlining the six essential links in the payment card chain. We explain what each of these players do, and how much value they add, and explain why two parts of this chain - the hardware providers and the so-called merchant service providers (MSPs) - are particularly vulnerable to disruption.

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Here are some of our key findings:

In full, the report: