The payments industry is red hot and it's not as confusing as people think

Payment card ecosystemBI IntelligenceA selection of payments companies in different categories. This is not a comprehensive list.

The rapid proliferation of digital technology is disrupting lots of different industries and there’s no better evidence than in the payments industry.

Payments are fundamental to the entire way commerce operates — both online and off.

For many years the industry moved slowly, reliant on the decisions of just a handful of companies. But digital has not only brought increased speed to market for the plethora of startups vying for a share of the over $US5 trillion dollars in annual US retail commerce. In many cases it’s also allowed the commerce experience to be re conceived and created numerous greenfield opportunities.

Understanding this complex and rapidly evolving space can be challenging, but in a new explainer from BI Intelligence we’ve made it simple. We offer a high-level look at the payments industry — how it functions, who the key players are, and the trends shaping the industry. We start by explaining payment-card processing, since the majority of consumer payments and transaction volume flow through this system. From there we take a look at how consumers’ move to mobile devices is changing the way we pay, and which players stand to benefit.

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Here are some of the key takeaways:

In full, the report:

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Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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