The Credit Card Industry Is Enormously Powerful And Complex -- But Payments Startups Are Beginning To Shake It Up

The credit card industry processes a massive volume of transactions — about $US4 trillion last year in the U.S., according to BI Intelligence estimates.

With so much money in play, it’s no wonder that a host of startups are trying to carve out a niche for themselves and offer services to merchants and consumers that will rewrite the value they get from every credit card payment.

But it won’t be easy to truly disrupt the credit card processing industry. These startups are entering an extremely complex and entrenched space.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we look at the complicated series of interactions among different legacy players that powers each credit card payment, outlining the six essential links in the credit credit payment 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 merchant service providers (MSPs) — are particularly vulnerable to disruption.

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Here are some of our key findings:

In full, the report:

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