Business Toolkit: Readiness & Engagement

Evaluating Payment Landscape 1 of 3

Evaluating the wider national payments landscape

You may be ready to shift but your country’s national payment ecosystem may not yet support a shift. Large businesses or subsidiaries of multinationals may have more leverage than smaller players in the economy: however, depending on the scope of your objectives and your timeframes, you may decide to take the environment as given; or if you have the time, you may set out a broader agenda to change it.

There are a number of available sources which may help you form a quick and easy view of the readiness of your payment landscape to shift:

  • The Mastercard Advisors Cashless Journey (2013) estimates the proportion of cash used at point of sale by consumers in 33 countries, grading countries into four stages of the journey away from cash.
  • The VISA GEAR study (2011) also includes indicators of infrastructure development as well as the social & economic and policy environment supporting digital payments for government, for a sample of 62 countries.

  • Citi Digital Money Readiness Index (2014) includes measures of the propensity of businesses and individuals to adopt digital payments, and demarcates 90 countries into categories of incipient, emerging, in-transition and materially ready to shift to digital.

If your country is not listed in these surveys, or if you wish to form a more detailed view, you may wish to perform an ecosystem payment diagnostic, focusing on the payment use cases which you select in this section. A separate BTCA toolkit describes how this can be done. However, that process will take time and effort, and may involve external resources, which are better spent when you decide to frame a specific case. For now, simple checklists of your and your internal capacity will give you some sense of the options.

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Fig. 2. BTCA Diagnostic countries

In 2013, BTCA performed payment ecosystem diagnostics on 4 countries. Here’s how they stack up in terms of these indices:

World Bank Country classification Mastercard Cashless (n=33) GEAR ranking (n=62) Citi Digital Money
Columbia UMIC Inception 41 Emerging
Malawi LMIC n/a n/a n/a
Nigeria LMIC Inception 62 Incipient
Philippines LMIC n/a 30 Emerging