The new “normal,” or constant, in the retail point-of-sale (POS) environment is that change is now part of everyday life for the physical store retailers and the financial institutions that serve them. The blurring divide between physical and digital retail channels, the advent of “buy online, pick up in store,” and the ever-growing graveyard of retailers who have ignored the 24/7/365 power of e-commerce have forever caused a shift in how consumers shop. Along with changes in shopping habits are changes in how people pay when they checkout at the POS. While POS payments with paper checks have been on the decline since the early 2000s and payment card use has boomed, cash is beginning to disappear as more consumers adopt mobile point of sale (mPOS) payments. As the industry continues to grapple with constant change, certain important trends represent both opportunities and challenges for FIs and fintechs over the next five years. This report evaluates payment share shifts in the physical POS channel through 2021, as well as trends and other market activities.

Key questions discussed in this report:
  • What are the major trends in domestic retail POS payments? 
  • How quickly is e-commerce growing, and how much is retail POS shrinking?
  • How will cash and paper checks fare at the POS as other payment types continue to grow in popularity?
  • What payment types will be the winners and losers in the POS channel in the future? 
  • Will debit cards continue to be a strong payment option at the POS, or will they cede market share to credit cards and other payment forms?
  • Will mobile proximity payments (mPOS) disrupt the current in-store POS payment ecosystem?
Companies Mentioned: Amazon, Apple, Banana Republic, Chase, Citi, CVS, Diesel, Dollar General, Gap, Google, Lululemon Athletica, McDonald's, Old Navy, Samsung, Starbucks, Target, True Religion, Venmo, Walgreens, Walmart, Zelle

The consumer data in this report was primarily collected from the following:

  • A random-sample survey of 3,200 respondents conducted online in October 2016. The overall margin of error +1.74 at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error is larger for subsets.
  • A random-sample survey of 3,200 respondents conducted online in October 2015. The overall margin of error +1.74 at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error is larger for subsets.
  • A random-sample survey of 10,768 respondents conducted online in June-July, 2017. The overall margin of error is +/- 0.94 at the 95% confidence level.

Industry card data and reward programs were derived from industry interviews, with supplementary data from secondary sources such as The Nilson Report and public websites.