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TSG in Digital Transactions: Damage Control

The Covid-19 pandemic threatens to send merchant acquirers’ attrition rates through the roof. How bad is the damage, and how bad will it get?

Covid-19 is on the loose, and behind it The Grim Reaper of Retail has come calling. Brick-and-mortar merchants already were struggling with the e-commerce onslaught, but now the Covid-19 pandemic has made their problems much worse—and merchant acquirers are feeling their pain.

Merchant-acquiring consultancy The Strawhecker Group estimates merchant-account attrition at 23.6% for 2020’s first quarter (“Trends and Tactics,” this issue), one percentage point higher than in 2019’s fourth quarter.

Covid-19, however, didn’t really start biting the economy until mid-March. Now some acquiring veterans say attrition could jump towards 30%, though others say they haven’t yet seen a spike in attrition.

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