The World That Makes Money Go Around

An Introduction To The Global Payments Industry

Abhishek Kothari
7 min readMar 19, 2018


One of the important lessons of the Internet is, how easy it is to get things done completely shapes what gets created. For that reason, technologies like Amazon’s cloud service are very important. Even if they aren’t technically impressive, they make things easy to do — Patrick Collison, Founder of Stripe (

As per McKinsey global research institute, the global payments industry is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7% to reach approximately $2 Trillion in size by 2021. On March 5 2018, the Wall Street Journal published an article about Amazon in talks with banks to offer a checking account like product to its customers.

It is not surprising then that everyone wants to be a part of the global payments industry. That is because payments are so intrinsic to everyday life that any single company or group of companies that occupies the wallets of consumers becomes intractable from that consumers’ life.

Today, the payments landscape has become symbolic of vertical integration where vendors or e-commerce platforms want to own the pipelines that supply money. With a plethora of players (such as Amazon, Alipay, WeChat, Venmo, Ripple and others) and new technologies such as the SWIFT gpi and the Blockchain vying to upend incumbents, it is too early to predict winners.

The cross border remittance market is also another hotly contested marketplace.

This article is intended to help the reader make sense of the rapidly evolving global payments industry. It also provides a glimpse into the likely future of this industry.Ultimately, simplicity and network effects will help separate the leaders from the dinosaurs. We are all along for a fascinating ride.

What is A Payment?

As the name suggests, its not hard to imagine what a payment is. In simple terms, it is the transfer of money from one person to another. A payment for one party will be a receipt for the other…



Abhishek Kothari

Futurist@The Intersection of Finance, Tech & Humanity. Stories of a Global Language: “Money”. Contributor @ Startup Grind, HackerNoon, HBR