Development and Execution Support for Omni-Channel Payment Strategies

Service Overview

Making Payments the Best Tool for Reinforcement of Customer Contact Point and Customer Promotion

Expansion of the smartphone payment ("wallet settlement") market has been developing quickly, with the launch of the Apple Pay service the US in October 2014 being a leading catalyst. At present, we are witnessing many new initiatives to enhance the wallet settlement market along with many companies from various industries starting to enter this space. The deep rooted preference for settlement by cash in Japan is mainly attributed to people's "anxieties about security" and "concerns about overspending." However, if settlement by smartphone can overcome these unique, Japan-specific circumstances, Japan is highly likely to be able to make a transition from its preference of cash-settlement, as observable from its predominantly large percentage share among OECD countries, to a wallet settlement system. By combining multifunctional smartphones and a wallet settlement function, we can expect not only the reinforcement of connections to customers, but also the increase of targeted promotional activities through collected data.

With our global network of 151 countries, PwC's experts specializing in payment services are able to assist with the development of hypotheses for your company's next step along with various additional support functions that range from the development of strategies to executions focusing on the establishment of a competitive position within the rapidly expanding wallet settlement ecosystem.

Client Issues

While payments are a lower-margin business, daily transactions by customers are exceptionally frequent. In addition to financial institutions such as credit card companies, IT business operators, transportation companies, smartphone carriers/manufacturers, merchants, and application providers have started focusing their attention on the wallet settlement business. For any business that would like to take full advantage of payments, not just as a means of commission acquisition, but also as a means of promotional activities through the reinforcement of customer contact points and by gathering customer data, development of strategies that utilize other companies will be essential. In the fast-paced changing payments market there are issues that need to be solved in relation to the development and execution of strategies that consider competitors'trends and users'needs from an all-encompassing perspective.

Point of View

Issues to be Solved


  • Whether or not to partner with overseas payment business operators such as Apple pay?
  • When considering business alliance, which company will be the most appropriate partner for us?
  • How to consider and sort out cannibalization with existing services?

Costomer / Member Stores' Needs

  • How to reach to the turning point of the customer's usage expantion?
  • How to deliver not only convenience but also other merits such as loyalty points?
  • What is the commission level appropriate for the needs of customers and member stores?

User Device

  • Should we develop a Smartphone-focused strategy?
  • How to design a payment system independent from device configurations?


  • How to partner up with existing channels such as shops etc?
  • How to design customer promotions?
  • How to realize O2O?

Settlement Infrastructure

  • How to utilize terminals that are already widely used?
  • Is the configration of the existing terminals most suitable?
  • How to deal with cost burdens and the needs of member stores when changing the specification of terminals?

Target Market

  • To what extent should overseas settlement styles be incorporated, considering the expected increase in the foreign visitors to Japan?
  • How to segment the targeted customers such as working women and elederly people etc?

Our Approach

PwC Consulting LLC (PwC) is capable of providing support for the development the most appropriate strategy to be implemented based on analysis of internal and external environments in addition to the accompanying action plan toward its execution. In regards to external environment analysis, we conduct analyses on the trends in the leading countries in the area of payment services as well as countries with large market significance by conducting interviews with local PwC experts and related companies. PwC is able to come up with strategic options through the identification of business opportunities based on the calculation of market size with reference to the impact of external trends on Japan and develop the most appropriate strategy in accordance with the Pros & Cons derived by SWOT analysis of client and group companies. In addition to the above, we are able to support stakeholder alignment and carry out negotiations with external collaboration partners upon development of an action plan and roadmap for strategic execution.



Case Example1: Development support of a wallet settlement business strategy for a financial institution

We provided support for the development of a business strategy with an eye toward expansion of the wallet settlement market in actual shops throughout Japan, which is expected to be implemented in the near future. By leveraging PwC's global network, we were able to conduct analysis of the trends within the wallet settlement market in the US in order to make an assessment of the impact and the market scale of the domestic wallet settlement market. PwC then developed a strategic option in advance of other companies by studying competitors' trends. We also assessed the effects of future customer promotions by calculating the expected return that results from the execution of the strategy along with any risks that could occur due to the non-execution of the strategy. PwC then utilized all of this information in order to provide support for the decision-making related to investments at the management meeting so that a step towards the realization of the strategy could be promptly dealt with in a short period of time.


Case Example2: Development support for the settlement businesses of a non-financial institution

PwC is also able to provide support for the development of settlement business strategies for non-financial institutions whose primary business is not related to settlements. We were capable of drafting a next generation wallet business by considering not only settlements, but also customer promotions with incentives such as loyalty points programs and coupon distributions etc. Utilizing PwC's wide range of research on players from various industries, we were able to help support the development of a strategic option for market-share acquisition upon the identification of a group of prospective major players. We also were tasked with the development of an action plan and a roadmap for realization of Japan's first new wallet settlement business.


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