Discover® Global Network Study Shows 85% of Consumers are Less Likely to Interact with a Business Due to a Poor Payment Experience

Improved payment experiences are vital to merchants, with 94% considering payments a strategic priority

Discover Global Network®, a leading global payment network, released the first portion of the 2024 Payment State of the Union (PSOU), one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind in the industry, providing global perspectives from merchants and consumers. The research study, commissioned by Discover Global Network with S&P Global Market Intelligence’s 451 Research, uncovers key insights into merchant payment trends in response to customer payment priorities, merchant pain points and advancements in digital payments. At Money 20/20 Europe, Discover Global Network will share a first look at the PSOU results, highlighting emerging trends in the industry from global merchants and consumers.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Payments are at the heart of omni-channel success (Graphic: Business Wire)

Payments are at the heart of omni-channel success (Graphic: Business Wire)

Here are key takeaways from respondents in this new study:

  • Payment Diversification Can Drive Competitive Differentiation for Merchants
    • Merchants see value in a seamless payment experience: Nearly two out of three (61%) merchants say payments are a highly strategic area of focus that drives significant competitive differentiation.
    • Merchants see an assortment of digital payment options as a key driver: More than half of merchants (53%) said offering a variety of digital payment options is the top strategy for driving conversions, highlighting the need for diverse payment integration for a personalized payments experience.
      • Consumers agree with merchants: the ability to pay using a preferred payment method is the most significant factor (63% strongly agree) influencing consumers to complete a purchase.
    • Merchants realize there is room for improvement: Less than one out of four (23%) merchants believe they are providing highly engaging digital experiences for customers.

“We’re seeing a continuing trend of merchants viewing payments as a driver for top- and bottom-line improvements, in addition to customer experience enhancements,” said Rajiv Gupta, vice president, international markets (EMEA) at Discover Global Network. “It’s no longer cash or credit as the two options. Our payment solutions can help merchants enable various options so consumers can pay using their preferred payment method.”

  • Click and Mortar: Omnichannel Options are a Key Pain Point for Consumers and an Opportunity for Merchants
    • In-store payment experiences should not be overlooked: While most consumers globally (57%) expect to spend most of their discretionary income online this year, in-store purchases are rebounding, rising to 43% in 2024, up from 39% in 2023.
      • Consumers in both North America and EMEA are driving in-store spend. More than half (55%) of consumers in North America and nearly half (48%) of consumers in EMEA expect to spend the majority of discretionary income in-store.
    • Consumers are frustrated by today’s omnichannel experience: Over the last six months, a lack of omnichannel options is the primary pain point consumers experienced after making a payment to businesses.
      • Merchants recognize there’s work to be done as 86% agree their omnichannel payment experience needs improvement.
  • Tap to Pay on Mobile and Integrated Checkout Experiences Are a Key Piece of the Future In-Store Experience
    • Merchants see tap to pay on mobile (92%) as the #2 two value driver for their organizations over the next three years.
      • The benefits of Tap to pay on Mobile drives merchant interest: The ability to accept payments nearly anywhere (61%) and deliver a more personalized sales experience (56%) are the top two use cases driving merchant interest in the technology.
      • Consumers enjoy ease of tap-to-pay on mobile: Nearly three out of four consumers (73%) are comfortable making an in-person payment by tapping their card or phone onto a merchant’s mobile device.
      • Merchants are prioritizing unique checkout experiences: In addition, to convert more shoppers in-store, merchants are prioritizing ways to offer an integrated app checkout experience that combines payment, offers and rewards (43%), promote contactless payment options (39%) and offer more installment/financing options (39%).

“With more consumers returning to in-store shopping, merchants have an opportunity to elevate their payment options to ensure they reflect the changing preferences of consumers," said Gupta. “Whether it’s tap on pay mobile or contactless payment options, Discover Global Network offers the payment tools and resources merchants need to help convert customer sales.”

Money 20/20 Europe

Discover’s Rajiv Gupta and 451 Research’s Jordan McKee will host an in-depth mainstage presentation to highlight the findings from the Payment State of the Union and what it reveals about the payments space and merchant/consumer needs.

  • When: Tuesday, Jun. 4 10:30 AM Local Time
  • Where: The Singularity Stage, RAI
  • What: Enhancing the Payments Experience: Balancing Merchant & Consumer Needs

“This year’s survey revealed the value of payments for both merchants and consumers. Merchants are recognizing how diverse payment options can lead to higher conversions, while consumers are prioritizing payment methods tailored to their individual needs and requirements,” said Jordan McKee, Research Director of the fintech practice at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “With this in mind, a critical success factor for merchants is aligning with payments partners who understand the nuances of the global landscape and can connect them to the payment methods their customers expect to use.” 1

For a deeper dive into these findings, visit (or download) the full study.

Survey Methodology

A global survey of 5,030 consumer and 2,258 merchant respondents was commissioned by Discover Global Network and conducted by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, an independent research firm, in Q1 2024. Markets surveyed include Brazil, Canada, mainland China/Hong Kong, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the UK and the US.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a digital banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover® card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its banking business. It operates the Discover Global Network® comprised of Discover Network, with millions of merchants and cash access locations; PULSE®, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International®, a global payments network with acceptance around the world. For more information, visit

1 Enhancing the payment experience: Balancing merchant and consumer needs, S&P Global Market Intelligence 451 Research, 2024


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