Payments

Overview

The payments landscape continues to evolve as the world moves from cash to electronic payments and constant innovation leads to more seamless ways for consumers and businesses to pay each other.

In this environment, businesses that are overexposed to cash continue to explore scale and efficiency improvements in a market that is still resilient in developed economies and buoyant in many developing economies.

At the same time, participants in the electronic payments value chain continue to assess and pursue growth opportunities and devise ways of enhancing their profitability in an increasingly competitive market.

L.E.K. has helped payments players of all sizes navigate this environment and achieve tangible results in terms of growth and shareholder returns. We have also helped investors understand a space that is technically and commercially complex and often difficult to grasp.


How we help

We cover a client base across the entire payments landscape:

  • Transaction types (consumer remittances, consumer retail payments in point-of-sale and ecommerce, B2B payments)
  • Means of payment (cash, card, alternative payment methods)
  • Value chain participation (e.g., acquirers, payment gateways, value-add service providers in electronic payments)

Our experienced team offers clients an in-depth understanding of the key challenges and value levers to:

  • Provide certainty about participation strategies: Clients turn to us to navigate uncertainty and for a bespoke assessment of where they should play geographically, in a value chain, across customer segments or across product categories.

    The questions we answer are often unique for our clients and their circumstances and include everything from “What new areas of payments should we explore given the available market opportunities and our capabilities?” and “How can we differentiate our international payments proposition?” through to “What is the future of cash and what does it mean for our business?”
     
  • Help them win: Clients appreciate our distinctive and value-driven analytical approach that complements our deep sector knowledge. We bring these to bear in helping our clients win and grow in their respective markets through optimizing their routes to market, helping them improve their pricing or customer origination or retention capabilities, creating or enhancing their product propositions, and improving their competitive positioning to gain share.

    Investors in particular look to us to help identify the growth levers and uncover the potential that lies within payments businesses that they seek to invest in, and to help deliver this potential in their portfolio companies.
     
  • Bring their strategies to life: Clients look to L.E.K. to help provide pragmatic support in aligning their business and people toward a common goal. Our work in this space involves definition and implementation of target operating models, development and alignment of incentive mechanisms for front-line sales staff, and unlocking of opportunities for performance improvement as business models evolve.


Examples of our work

To learn more about how we help clients create value, please refer to these case examples:

  • We helped a private equity-owned payment services provider double EBITDA by identifying and executing growth and performance-improvement initiatives. The impact of our work also enabled the owner to achieve a successful exit from the business.
  • We assisted a major remittances group in the development of a “bottom up” business plan to generate higher accountability for country managers.
  • We supported a major global acquirer in assessing an opportunity to invest in a specialist payment gateway operating in high-margin niches.
  • We helped an investor unlock value in an asset operating in the international payments space, specifically in the maximization of customer lifetime value.
  • We supported a major remittances and foreign exchange player in conducting a transformational acquisition, significantly enhancing the scale and geographical diversity of its business.
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