The Green Sheet Online Edition
January 14, 2008 • Issue 08:01:01
Acquiring today, a shapshot
Sales is the core of acquiring. So, it shouldn't be surprising to learn that 73% of leading ISOs and acquirers intend to boost their investments in sales. It might surprise some folks, however, that in a market where new products continually emerge, an equally large number of organizations (73%) have no plans to increase product investments.
Fewer than two in 10, for example, consider mobile payments support an important factor in acquiring new merchant accounts; 82% see mobile payments as neutral or not at all important in account acquisition. These are some of the insights gleaned from new research by Aite Group. The consultancy held a recent webinar - titled The State of the Merchant Acquiring Industry - to showcase it latest research, and The Green Sheet was invited to attend.
The research, directed by Aite Analyst Adil Moussa, demonstrates just how difficult it can be to examine merchant acquiring trends. Moussa surveyed companies representing the top 80 acquirers, but responses came from just 11 of them. Moussa conceded the sample was small. "But we think these results are representative of the industry on these issues," he said.
Here are some highlights from the data presented during the Dec. 18 webinar:
- Margin compression is the biggest challenge facing the market; 73% of respondents said it was a top challenge for them.
- More than half of all transactions in 2006 were acquired from merchants with annual sales below $50,000.
- On average, it takes an acquirer 4.2 months of active selling to replace a lost merchant account.
- ISOs and acquirers spent on average $200,000 on PCI compliance in 2006.
- The product ISOs and acquirers expect to see the most demand for over the next 24 months are partnerships for issuing branded prepaid cards; 36% see demand growing for these.
- Just 29% of merchants use the Web to access account statements today; only 2% use the Web to contact ISOs acquirers about customer service matters.
"There's a huge opportunity to shift merchants away from face to face or telephone contact to a more automated form of interaction," Moussa said.
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