Banks, Retailers, and Fintech: Reimagining Payments Relationships, Part Two: The Retailer Perspective

by Gareth Lodge,  Zilvinas Bareisis, January 19, 2016
Industry Trends


Retailers and banks need each other, but often have very different perspectives on payments. The situation is not helped by a growing number of intermediaries, specifically Fintech players. This series of three reports commissioned by ACI Worldwide and written by Celent explores how payments relationships can be reimagined, taking a perspective of each main party, namely retailers, banks, and Fintech.

Celent has released a new report with ACI Worldwide titled Banks, Retailers, and Fintech: Reimagining Payments Relationships, Part Two: The Retailer Perspective. The other reports in this series also published today include:

The reports are authored by Zilvinas Bareisis and Gareth Lodge, senior analysts with Celent’s banking practice.

Banks, retailers, and Fintech form a payment ecosystem that we believe is more symbiotic than many would want to admit. Retailers care about accepting payments efficiently and effectively, but also have various other needs, from physical cash management to borrowing money and paying suppliers.

Retail banks have been responsible for most of the payment instruments issued to consumers and used at the merchant tills. Yet, it is corporate banks that have the main relationship with retailers. Even though both sides may belong to the same universal bank, they often operate in silos.

Fintech companies sense the opportunity and are trying to insert themselves in a variety of ways. What will their growing presence mean to the relationship between banks and retailers? Will it prove to be a wedge further driving them apart, or the glue that bonds everyone together?

Celent believes that it is time to reimagine the payments relationships between banks, retailers and Fintech. Combative stances and door slamming will only result in lost opportunities for all.

To reimagine those relationships, it is helpful to start by understanding the perspectives of each main party. Therefore, Celent has written three reports in the series with each exploring the perspective of a different stakeholder. This report looks at retailers and examines three research questions below.

“Given the pressure that banks are feeling, it would seem at first glance that banks need retailers more than retailers need banks,” says Lodge. “However, whilst retailers focus on managing their supply chain, banks play a vital role in the financial supply chain for a retailer, including regulated actives a Fintech company simply can’t supply. All the parties in the ecosystem are, and will still be, required, but how they work together will undoubtedly change. As a result, those most able to change, whether bank or retailer, are most likely to see this as an opportunity and not a threat.”

This 20-page report contains five figures.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents




Key Research Questions


Retailer-Bank Relationships Under Pressure


Back to Basics: Why Retailers Still Need Banks



What’s Changing? And Why?



Do Retailers Still Needs Banks in the 21st Century? Emphatically Yes



All That Glitters May Not Be Gold


Glancing to the Future



Working Together Generates Better Value For All



In an Ecosystem, Successful Evolution Relies on All Parties



Retailers Have Never Had It So Good!


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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