TSG Analysis

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May 2015

TSG Releases New eReport - Bitcoin and Virtual Currency: Hype or Necessity?

What is this report?
Despite an explosion in media coverage, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are misunderstood. So what is it? This 43-page report reviews the mechanics of the currency and offers some thoughts on its characteristics and future applications. The report also provides detailed information around the current state of Bitcoin including merchant acceptance figures.

The second half of the report provides a deeper analysis on how Bitcoin compares to the current payments infrastructure, niche payment opportunities where Bitcoin can be leveraged and recommendations for payment players concerning the evolving virtual currency ecosystem and how they can prepare for the rapidly changing virtual currency market.

Why is this useful?
This report will provide newcomers and industry veterans, across the merchant industry and payments landscape, with analysis on the evolution of virtual currency and Bitcoin. The report is an exceptional tool for reference purposes on the Bitcoin payments ecosystem, how the currency is operated, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with Bitcoin. The report also provides analyses on how the evolving virtual currencies market may impact the payments and merchant environment.

How can it be purchased?
To order online with a credit card, please click here. The report is $595.

May 2015

Key Insights Into the Visa/MasterCard Bank Sponsorship Market

TSG's new eReport, U.S. Sponsor Bank Market Overview, will help current sponsor banks understand the market and optimize their acquiring sponsorship program. Banks that are considering creating their own sponsorship program will also find this report to be an excellent starting point. Merchant acquirers will find value in this report as they evaluate their current sponsor relationships.

Click here for the preview.

Click here to purchase.

Apr 2015

The Cost to Golf in America [Infographic]

Check out Greens Fees at America's Public Golf Courses, an infographic produced by TSG. The analysis was created by leveraging TSG's database, which is populated with purchase data on over 2,500 golf courses in the United States.

Click here for the infographic.

The states with the highest costs for a round of golf are Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska, while the lowest costs go to Tennessee, Utah and Ohio.

Apr 2015

The Comeback of Consumer Spending [Infographic]

The Strawhecker Group (TSG) in conjunction with the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), for the benefit of TRANSACT 15 attendees, have released a new infographic titled The Comeback of Consumer Spending.

Highlights of the infographic include:
• Key economic indicators such as consumer confidence, GDP, and unemployment have all seen positive performance in 2014 and Q1 2015
• Electronic payments are a big reason why the economy continues to improve - almost 70% of GDP is driven by consumer spending, and 70% of consumer spending is electronic (not cash/check)
• TSG's database of 2.7M merchants, which represents 6.5B credit/debit transactions, shows that both restaurants and retail establishments compose 23% of consumer spending with credit/debit


Jan 2015

Comparable New Mechant Profitability

The following graph illustrates Comparable New Merchant Profitability, which is the Go-To-Market Net Spread as compared to the existing merchants in a portfolio, for different volume tiers.

Net Spread is defined as gross revenue charged to a merchant less total processing cost of sales divided by sales volume. This is essentially the profitability of different merchant sizes compared to the existing portfolio at the time the account is boarded.

Jan 2015

TSG’s Northeast Acquirers Association Recap

TSG attended the Northeast Acquirers Association (NEAA) conference in Boston this week, which was very well attended. Boston served as host to the event after being held in Mt. Snow, VT for over a decade. Some highlights and key observations included:

ISOs and acquirers are quite certain that very few small business will be prepared (let alone even aware) of the EMV liability shift occurring in October 2015. Many believe that merchants will weigh the pros and cons of investing in EMV-capable terminals and decide to take the risk of a loss. However, the liability shift certainly creates a revenue opportunity for ISOs and acquirers that should not be missed. In fact, many attendees anticipate some processors and acquirers to experiment with EMV non-compliance fees.

Jan 2015

Payments Industry 2015; No Clever Predictions Just Thoughtful Analysis

Prediction lists are everywhere around the start of a new year and where there’s a lot of speculation, clever headlines often take the stage over the sharing of insight. So, with that said, take a look at The Strawhecker Group’s careful analysis of what 2015 may hold, without the leaps of faith…...or clever headlines.

2014 was a big year for the payments industry. The introduction of Apple Pay garnered a lot of attention, the variety of data breaches got major payment players (and the public) focused on security issues and major payment players started to lay the foundation for a digital ecosystem.

Dec 2014

2014 U.S. Payments Search Trends

As a wrap-up to the year, The Strawhecker Group has put together a list of keywords, related to the Payments Industry, to illustrate how they have trended using Google since the beginning of 2014. Specific 'related search words' have been removed from keywords to ensure a better estimate of trends related to the Payments Industry.

Bitcoin saw the highest mark, as it spiked to the highest point at the end of February when Mt. ox went offline, however it has since dropped significantly through the rest of the year. As expected, Apple Pay jumped up after the initial announcement in September, and again in October when it went live for consumer usage.

Dec 2014

The 2014 Payments Market: The Wrap Up

Growth prospects for the payments industry in 2014 were clearly brighter compared to the past several years as the economy continued to heal, consumer confidence rebounded and the regulatory and political environment settled down. The brightened growth prospects appeared to drive a shift in the mindset of payment players. No longer were payment players taking a traditional wait and see approach in 2014, their mindset evolved into a take action and make change approach.

As mobile solutions garnered attention, EMV awareness heightened, security breaches hit headlines and consumer engagement models evolved, traditional and non-traditional payment players across the spectrum implemented and piloted new technologies and collaborated with each other in order to move forward and provide solutions for the industry's most pressing needs. With that said, the payments industry continued to witness a rapidly changing landscape in 2014, one which shaped the strategies and roadmaps of the players.

Nov 2014

New ETA/TSG Research Estimates 2014 4Q Electronic Spending Will Increase 4.0% Over 2013 to $890B

One occasion of note is on the payments horizon: the holiday shopping season. To meet it head-on, ETA is offering projections on holiday spending trends and has released important educational resources for merchants to navigate the evolving payments landscape. Payments consultancy firm The Strawhecker Group estimates that 2014 fourth quarter electronic spending will increase 4.0% over 2013 to $887 billion.