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Dec 2016

TSG in Digital Transactions - Payments IPOs Plunge in 2016, but 2017 Could See Some High-Profile Offerings

“IPO windows come in cycles,” Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based consulting firm, tells Digital Transactions News. “There’s a lot of different variables.”

Common reasons for IPOs include generating funds for business expansion, enabling existing investors to cash out, and debt reduction. Those factors played varying roles in the IPOs of First Data, which raised $2.56 billion, and Square, which raised about $231 million before underwriting expenses. Last year also saw payment card manufacturer CPI Card Group Inc. complete an IPO, and online-payments leader PayPal Holdings Inc. separated from long-time parent company eBay Inc. On the global market, London-based merchant processor Worldpay completed a $3.32 billion IPO.

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Dec 2016

Transaction Trends Feature: Kurt Strawhecker Ponders Next Steps for Payments

Already a seasoned ad executive, Kurt Strawhecker joined First Data in the 1980s and started a marketing division that reportedly put the first stuffers in credit card statement envelopes. Then, a decade ago, he and Jamie Savant launched the Strawhecker Group, which the founders say mixes lengthy experience with Big Data to advise clients on all aspects of payments. Here, he leverages both to offer some insights on the industry.

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Nov 2016

Loyalty Could Attract US Millennials to Mobile Payments

Millennials, or what many refer to as "digital natives," continue to draw attention from all corners of commerce. This group — roughly individuals who are now in that long-prized 18- to 35-year-old age group — is the single largest generation ever seen in the U.S., with 75.3 million members at the end of last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  

As a generation, their habits, attitudes and thinking reflect the enormous change technology has had on our world. For instance, analysts like those at The Strawhecker Group (TSG), have asserted that millennials now play a critical role in leading overall adoption and use of consumer technology. That is, in part, why those seeking to understand which changes are still to come in social and consumer behavior are watching millennials for answers.

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Nov 2016

Mobile Is the Linchpin To Digital Commerce – But Our Industry Moves Too Slowly

In today's world, no matter the industry or geography, if you take a channel-centric approach or don't adapt to the changing world, you'll essentially cause friction in any process and likely become extinct. Just ask Blockbuster, Kodak and Borders.

Here is where mobile payments enter the picture: As merchants face this fast-evolving digital age, they are trying to transform to catch up with these various forces and avoid becoming the next Blockbuster. Likewise, payment providers are also trying to transform into technology partners so they can service merchants more effectively through various channels in a seamless manner. Payments players that build capabilities and competitive advantages early will hold a significant edge over those that play catch-up.

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Nov 2016

Now Available: Political Organization/Campaign ISV Directory

TSG’s latest eReport is a directory of independent software vendors that serve the political organization & campaign space. A main service that these software companies often provide is donation management for political elections. TSG’s directory covers 29 players.

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Nov 2016

TSG in Digital Transactions - First Data Reports an Easing in Its Small-Merchant Attrition Rate

Chief financial officer Himanshu Patel pegged the attrition rate as in the mid-30s [percentage points], “and that’s about roughly 2 percentage points better sequentially and year over year.”

High merchant attrition has been a hot topic for the big payment processor for several quarters. Merchant acquirers want to keep attrition as low as possible because of the expense of finding and approving new merchants, many of which care little about payment services other than their acceptance costs. Omaha, Neb.-based consulting firm The Strawhecker Group recently estimated industrywide annualized attrition among small and mid-sized merchants at 24.1% for the first quarter.

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Oct 2016

Money 20/20 Article Round-Up

Enjoying Money 20/20?
Today marks the third day of Money 20/20 - host to another jammed pack agenda! The Strawhecker Group (TSG), a media sponsor, is live at the show.

A Quick Round-Up of Happenings @ Money 20/20

Oct 2016

Steve Vickers Joins The Strawhecker Group as Director of Product Delivery

The Strawhecker Group (TSG), has announced the addition of Steve Vickers to its team as the Director of Product Delivery. Vickers brings over a decade of experience to TSG from leading payments companies including JPMorgan Chase and TSYS. Vickers will help TSG serve its clients across the payments ecosystem in both project management and product development roles.

“We are elated that Steve has joined TSG,” said Mike Strawhecker, Principal. “It is an exciting time for the payments industry, as technology and banking collide, and our clients lean on forward-thinkers like Steve now more than ever. He is a true student of the industry and we are lucky to have him.”

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Omaha World Herald

Sep 2016

EMV Merchant Adoption Remains Sluggish a Year Later

The Strawhecker Group (TSG), a management consulting firm focused on the global payments industry, released survey results today that estimate 44 percent of U.S. card-accepting merchants have EMV terminals. TSG also found that less than a month away from the anniversary of the EMV liability shift, 29 percent of U.S. merchants are actually able to accept chip-based transactions.

TSG’s previous survey of payment processors and other payment providers completed in January estimated that over 50 percent would have an EMV terminal by this time, showing a slower pace of implementation than expected.

“EMV merchant adoption has slowed down a bit, at least comparatively speaking to our last EMV survey results in January 2016,” said Jared Drieling, Business Intelligence Manager at TSG. Approximately one-third of merchants have activated EMV systems (ability to accept chip on chip transactions) despite the larger base of U.S. merchants with EMV terminals in place. “EMV terminal vendor supply and delays in the terminal activation/certification process are the bottlenecks in the migration,” says TSG’s Drieling.

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TSG’s sample included 79 payment service providers that service more than 3.4 million merchants, or nearly half of the U.S. card-accepting market. In conjunction with this release, TSG has published an infographic to express the findings: http://bit.ly/EMV-Anniversary

Sep 2016

TSG in Transaction Trends - Changing the Public Perception of EMV

Just one year ago, many U.S. consumers were completely unfamiliar with the letters “EMV” or the term “chip card.” Today, most Americans know the words and likely have a chip card in their wallet or purse, accompanied by an opinion about the change. But, they may still not fully understand why the shift to EMV is an important advancement in securing the payments infrastructure.

Despite claims to the contrary, we’re exceeding most expectations in terms of EMV adoption. We expected the transition to take at least five years, which is the time it took European nations to get to 50 percent chip-transaction market penetration. Nearly three-quarters of Americans report they already have at least one chip card. According to preliminary results conducted by The Strawhecker Group (TSG), about half of all U.S. merchants now have an EMV terminal and a third of U.S. merchants are enabled and activated (in other words, accepting chip-on-chip transactions).

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