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The Convergence of Payments and Commerce: Implications for Consumers

In recent years, the payment space has moved from an ecosystem with clear constraints and established players to a rapidly evolving environment. While there has been significant attention paid to specific technologies and solutions (e.g., blockchain), there has been less attention paid to the broader changes occurring across the ecosystem. Retail banks, established payment networks, and online and physical world commerce organizations are creating new consumer experiences.

Many of the new capabilities available have the potential to streamline payments, facilitate commerce, and improve the user experience. In many cases, adoption by consumers has been rapid. At the same time, these changes also create more opportunities for companies to aggregate and monetize consumer financial data, and for large players to dominate consumers’ financial and commercial lives. Finally, while a range of payment capabilities create more options for consumers, varying regulatory requirements may risk regulatory arbitrage.

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