Participants in the Payments Purchasing Chain

How Key Players Facilitate Payment Transactions—and How Their Roles Are Changing

About This Report
Payments Ecosystem: Acquirers and processors, networks, and issuers each play distinct roles in the payments purchasing chain. But those roles are shifting amid commoditization, new competitive dynamics, and technological innovation.

Executive Summary

Within a given transaction, acquirers and processors, networks, and issuers all help bring payments from the point of purchase to settlement. Diving into each of their roles reveals where the payments industry stands and how it might evolve in 2022.


  1. What roles do the key players in the payments purchasing chain play in an end-to-end transaction?
  2. How are market dynamics changing the payments purchasing chain and how its stakeholders interact?
  3. What are the top trends impacting acquirers and processors, networks, and issuers in 2022?

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? We define the major categories of payment providers, discuss their volume and revenues, and evaluate key trends impacting their performance.

KEY STAT: All areas of the payments ecosystem will undergo rapid change thanks to pandemic-driven shifts, especially merchant acquiring: Revenues will rise at an 11.3% compound annual growth rate through 2025, per Boston Consulting Group.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Key Points
  3. Introduction
  1. Acquirers and Processors
  2. Networks
  3. Issuers
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Access All Charts and Data

Gain access to reliable data presented in clear and intelligible displays for quick understanding and decision making on the most important topics related to your industry, included at no extra cost.


Jaime Toplin


Daniel Decea
Researcher, Financial Services
David Morris
Principal Analyst
Julia Woolever
Senior Report Editor

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast