Payment Services

Payment Services

Industry Outlook

The coronavirus pandemic, which started in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, caused an economic slowdown in 2020. Business lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus triggered a decline in consumer spending, which in turn decreased the payments processed by payment services companies. At the same time, the economic uncertainty led many consumers to make purchases using credit cards and debit cards. The market research group IBISWorld predicts that consumers will continue to forego making purchases with cash and continue to use credit cards and other electronic payment services in the coming years. This will lead to higher transaction volumes for credit card processing and money transferring companies. The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 will boost the economy and consumer spending will increase post pandemic. As of late 2020, the credit card processing and money transferring industry in the U.S. was valued at $70 billion, with 4,106 businesses and total employment of 149,628 people.

A report by Cision projected that the global payment processing solutions market would grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 6 percent from 2021 through 2026. Factors contributing to this growth include the continued rise of e-commerce sales, coupled with increasing Internet and smartphone use, and increased embracing of contactless payments.

The market research group Azoth Analytics forecasts the digital money transfer and remittance industry will have particularly strong growth through 2024, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 12 percent for the time frame of 2019 through 2024. As stated in the Azoth research report, the digital money transfer and remittance market has been experiencing considerable growth in recent years. Factors contributing to this growth include the growing urban and working population, resulting in growing income and growth of point-of-sale systems, such as e-commerce, in various industries to accommodate the working population. “POS systems in a number of industries, such as retail, restaurants, healthcare, transportation…among others, are diverting consumers toward digital payment."

Overall, business and financial operations workers will have faster than average employment growth through 2028. The Department of Labor predicts that nearly 592,000 new jobs will be added by then. Strong demand for these workers will be due to the growing economy and globalization. Experienced payment services professionals will also be needed in the years to come as more people are conducting financial transactions digitally.

Financial clerks, including credit authorizers and checkers, are expected to have 5 percent job growth through 2028, which is about as fast as the average for all other occupations. Job growth will be tempered somewhat by the proliferation of online tools and technology that enhances productivity. However, financial clerks who work in the areas of credit authorization and checking will still be needed for tasks such as collecting information from customers that is needed to determine credit worthiness. They will also be needed to provide customer assistance. Financial clerks with a bachelor's degree in business or economics will have the best prospects of finding work.

Financial managers, including credit and cash managers, will have exceptionally good job opportunities in the next few years. The Department of Labor predicts 16 percent employment growth through 2028, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. This strong growth will vary, however, depending upon the industry in which they work. As the economy grows, financial managers will be needed for planning, directing, and coordinating investments. Financial managers who specialize in cash management and risk management will be in high demand. The DOL also points out that “the credit intermediation and related activities’ industry (which includes commercial and savings banks) employs a large percentage of financial managers. As bank customers increasingly conduct transactions online, the number of bank branches is expected to decline, which should limit employment growth in this sector. However, employment declines are expected to mainly affect clerical occupations, such as tellers, rather than financial managers.” Competition for work in this sector is keen. Financial managers with a master’s degree or certification and prior experience in finance and accounting will have the advantage over other job candidates.

Loan officers will have strong employment growth through 2028. As the economy grows, individuals and businesses will request credit for financing personal expenditures and commercial and business investments. Experienced loan officers will be in demand to review applicants' worthiness for credit, to ensure they will be able to pay back the loans in full and on schedule. A decline in bank branches and the increase in loan processing automation will counter some of loan officers' job growth. However, those with experience in lending, banking, and financial sales will have the edge in the job market.

Credit card processing and money transfer services will continue to grow in the digital arena as more businesses and consumers use computers and mobile devices for financial transactions. A Business Insider report on trends in the payments processing industry shows that e-commerce will continue growing, and that while personal computers will be consumers’ top choice when making retail purchases, an increasing number of people are using smartphones for their transactions. Consumers will also have various, easy ways to pay, such as through voice assistants, wearables, and even cars with Wi-Fi and computer access. Other highlights of the Business Insider trends report include “in-store payment methods are still on the rise in the U.S., comprising 89 percent of retail volume [in 2019]. Credit and debit cards continue to lead the segment, as cash and check usage slowly ticks downward. But surging contactless penetration is set to bring mobile in-store payments to prominence for the first time in the years ahead.” Also noted is that the “digitization of payments isn’t just contained to retail, though, with mobile P2P [peer-to-peer] payments, digital remittances, and digital business payments continuing to blossom as change spreads through the ecosystem.”