Charts: Growth of Global Payments, Cryptocurrencies

The business of sending and receiving retail and wholesale payments is booming worldwide. That is according to the Boston Consulting Group’s “Global Payments 2021: All In for Growth,” (PDF) its 19th annual report on the payments industry.

Credit card acquirers (i.e., merchant account providers), processors, and networks experienced only slight revenue declines at the outset of the pandemic. The broader shift to digital commerce has given rise to thousands of financial technology players, such as buy-now-pay-later, direct software integrations, various cashless-payment providers, cryptocurrencies, and more. The result is projected strong 5-year growth for global payments-related revenue.

According to the BCG report, by 2030 the total global revenue from payment transactions will nearly double to $2.9 trillion by 2030, up from roughly $1.5 trillion in 2020.

The report also addressed the growth in payments by global region.

Cryptocurrency

McKinsey & Company, the global consulting firm, surveys U.S. consumers annually for insights on digital payments trends. The 2021 survey addressed crypto. Twenty percent of respondents stated they held or have held cryptocurrencies, up from 6% in 2020. Their reasons are set forth below.

Cryptocurrency use varies dramatically worldwide. An index from Chainalysis, a blockchain data and research firm, shows the overall global adoption by country.

The index scores countries on three metrics: total crypto activity, trading activity of non-professional users, and peer-to-peer exchange trade volume. All are weighted by purchasing power parity per capita. The Chainalysis index ranges from 0 to 1. We have multiplied the scores by 100 to facilitate the map below.

Most of the top 20 countries are emerging economies, including Togo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. Overall, Vietnam scored the highest. The U.S. slid from sixth to eighth and China, which has cracked down on cryptocurrency, fell from fourth to 13th.

According to Chainalysis, many global residents turn to cryptocurrency to protect their savings against currency devaluation, as well as to send and receive remittances and conduct business transactions.

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