A vision for the future of cross-border payments

Today, the global cross-border payment landscape is at the center of a number of trends that could fundamentally change competitive dynamics: increasing pressure from emerging technologies (including distributed ledger technology and card and network innovations); shifting regulatory and sanctions frameworks; accelerating international commerce (retail as well as corporate); and, especially, changing customer demands. In addition, firms new to the cross-border market are increasing competitive pressure on incumbents.

Although estimated revenue per cross-border transaction remains healthy at more than $20, evidence of changing dynamics and increasing pressure in the most established segments (such as B2B and remittances) is growing and becoming increasingly commonplace across the value chain. With these trends occurring against a background of growing investment needs and compliance challenges, the industry needs to engage in a strategic reflection on a vision for the future of the industry.

This report, a joint effort between McKinsey and SWIFT, sets out a view of how the cross-border industry could develop if certain emerging trends take root.

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