Voice of the Industry

The Paypers Global Payments and Commerce Partnerships Analysis: Q4 2022

Monday 27 February 2023 12:50 CET | Editor: Andra Constantinovici | Voice of the industry

The Paypers researched and analysed the most important partnerships that defined and built resilience in the payments and commerce space in Q4 2022, from optimising ecommerce infrastructure to specific BNPL use-cases, travel payments, and the surge of Tap to Pay tech.

The Paypers analysed the visible decrease in M&A activity as 2022 drew to a close after a prolific three quarters. In this context, partnerships in fintech and digital banking proved the rising trends in the ecosystem; moreover, they are globally verged towards consolidating financial resilience and opportunity, in order to meet rising customer expectations for security, flexibility, and settlement speed. 

The global market for ecommerce payments was estimated at USD 206.7 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach a revised size of USD 612.1 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14.5% over the analysis period 2022-2030, according to ResearchandMarkets. In spite of this brave projection, 2022 was the year in which previously rising trends have begun to be finetuned, better tailored to the market than ever. After the decade debuted with a boom in ecommerce volume, and technology needed to keep up with demand, 2022 has been a year of reckoning for many verticals. 

The slight shortage in mergers and acquisitions mentioned in the previous iteration of this overview was as prevalent compared to partnerships in the ecommerce markets.

In fact, after closely analysing all the partnerships in Q4 2022, we noticed a couple of clear high-power names separating themselves from the crowd with extensive partnerships and expansion strategies. In this overview, The Paypers focuses on how the ground was laid at the end of 2022 for the most relevant trends in ecommerce payments in 2023:

  • Ecommerce payments – platform services consolidation

  • Buy Anything, Pay Later – the verticalisation of instalment payments

  • Mobile payments and digital wallets – NFC gets rebranded

  • Deconstructing strategies: ACI Worldwide and Worldline

Ecommerce payments – platform services consolidation

In today's age where online shopping (in all shapes and on all devices) is almost becoming the norm, it is crucial for businesses to establish a technical infrastructure that can record and monitor all user experiences on their web store. From automatic tracking data transmission during parcel delivery to constant harmonisation of their payment method portfolio with local markets, most partnerships in Q4 2022 in this niche focused on securing the best backend processes to streamline customer experiences and payments volume. 


Partnerships between DivideBuy and Acquired, Cart.com and Fedex, BigCommerce and Sage and DHL

In December 2022, integrated services platform BigCommerce teamed with British payroll technology provider Sage to offer merchants an end-to-end commerce solution. After integrating with Sage 100 ERP software, BigCommerce enabled businesses to update their ecommerce presence and establish fully integrated B2C and B2B storefronts, facilitating new customer acquisition, enhancing operational efficiency, and providing real-time updates and visibility of orders, customer information, and invoices.

BigCommerce continued its service expansion in Q4 by partnering with shipping service DHL to help online businesses in the US expand their portfolio of products worldwide.

As purchase volumes increased across the board, we’ve seen more than one agreement signed between ecommerce platforms, merchants, and logistics and shipping services. For instance, Cart.com joined forces with FedEx to enhance the ecommerce experience for merchants and consumers. The collaboration is set to primarily focus on improving fulfilment insights, providing more delivery options that meet consumer expectations, and enhancing shipping visibility for consumers to track their orders accurately and receive precise information on when their package will arrive.

Earlier in November, UK-based BNPL provider DivideBuy (later acquired by Zopa) partnered with payments technology company Acquired.com to optimise the checkout process for merchants. By signing this accord, DivideBuy’s merchants got to leverage smart automated tools designed to eliminate the rate of failed transactions, boost approval rates, and offer smoother payment experiences for customers.

Aside from the infrastructure side of things, a significant focus for small and big brand retailers alike was reaching as many customers as possible directly. In fact, the US alone has reportedly surpassed USD 150 billion in D2C ecommerce sales. In October 2022, social media platform TikTok entered a partnership with TalkShopLive to launch TikTok Shop in the US. TalkShopLive is to provide the necessary technology and support required for live streams hosted by influencers, brands, and retailers that are looking to sell their products on the platform.

Buy Anything, Pay Later – the verticalisation of instalment payments

Buy Now, Pay Later was one of the payment trends that sparked the most debate in the industry in 2022 (OK, maybe besides crypto). Between convenience and talk of speed and financial inclusion, serious conversations sparked surrounding regulation, responsible spending, and consumer education. Regulators recognised the phenomenon as the pivotal paradigm shift it is and globally started developing legislative contexts for its existence, most of which are poised to be further explored in 2023.

The now ripened industry yielded impressive adoption across the globe. Even if major players such as Klarna saw colossal fluctuations in valuation all across last year, the industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 33.3% by 2026 to USD 596.7 billion, as per Global Data. 

There have been several agreements signed in Q4 2022, but the most prevalent partnerships surfacing in this niche focused predominantly on BNPL applications across various verticals. BNPL ceased to be merely a means to buy clothes, gadgets, or other mid-range purchases off Amazon and the like. 


BNPL partnerhips such as Splitit - Google, Pomelo - Galileo, Afterpay - Expedia, Uplift - Emirates and Klarna - Deliveroo


Instalment service Splitit teamed with Google in December 2022 to add its Instalments-as-a-Service solution to the Google Store in the US, Canada, and Australia. Splitit is reported to offer Google a white-label service that would enable customers to pay in instalments using their existing credit on their payment card at checkout.

A month earlier, US-based fintech Galileo announced that its API-enabled platform will power the Pomelo ‘Remit Now, Pay Later’ credit card to extend financial access to US families. A combined credit and US-based international money transfer service, Pomelo’s charge card will offer families in the US the possibility to build and extend their credit access abroad without having to incur expensive remittance fees.

Travel payments are among the most popular verticals for BNPL (and a high-ticket market for fintechs such as Worldline as we’ll see further on in this analysis). In November 2022, Australian BNPL service Afterpay signed an agreement with travel booking service Expedia. Through the partnership, travelers can finance their purchases by making four no-interest payments across six weeks. Buy Now, Pay Later provider Uplift has announced an exclusive partnership with Emirates airline, allowing US and Canadian customers to pay for their travels in instalments. 

These are just two agreements that came to be on the backdrop of record demand for BNPL for travel purchases and as tourists become increasingly thrifty with their holiday budgets.

Lastly, one of the partnerships that spoke most of the contrasting nature of 2022 was Deliveroo coming together with Klarna to offer customers the possibility to buy groceries and takeout food on credit. All this in a world where consumer spending is higher than ever, talk of recession is also a stark reality and BNPL seems to have come as a cure-all in uncertain times. In October 2022, several important retailers in the country, including Aldi, M&S, and The Range have already added instalment payment options by partnering with Klarna and other similar fintechs. In some cases, BNPL providers even offer prepaid cards that are accepted by a wide range of merchants, both online and offline. 

Mobile payments and digital wallets – NFC gets rebranded

According to Barclays, the total value of all contactless payments jumped 49.7% in 2022. NFC payments or EMV chip cards did not appear in 2022, but when Apple announced plans to introduce Tap-to-Pay on iPhone, in a partnership with Stripe, in early 2022, the term ‘Tap to Pay’ became the de facto umbrella term for contactless (generally mobile-enabled) payments. What followed was an increased number of companies partnering to enable Tap to Pay.


Mobile payments tap to pay partnerships such as phos - Elavon, Venmo and PayPal with Apple, Diebold Nixdorf - SoftPOS, MercadoLibre and Whatsapp


In November, PayPal announced that it will support, together with Venmo, Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhones. Having this option implemented as part of their tech offering enabled merchants to accept both contactless card payments and payments made via Apple Pay, or other digital wallets, such as Google Pay. In Q4 2022, other companies such as Bulgaria-based POS system phos has partnered with global acquirer Elavon to launch a Tap to Pay solution in the US and Canada.

Moreover, point-of-sale orchestration for businesses phos partnered Diebold Nixdorf to enable enterprise retailers to add its SoftPoS as a payment acceptance option. Retailers will be enabled to expand their number of payment acceptance points, without having to support the traditional expense associated with payment hardware. Furthermore, as it is acquirer agnostic, Diebold Nixdorf is given the option to launch the solution for any existing acquirer that its retail customers might be using.

An interesting cross-platform partnership in the mobile payments space was also MercadoLibre discussing with Meta to start processing payments on the WhatsApp messaging service in Brazil

Considering that the Tap to Pay infrastructure has just become more and more ubiquitous as 2023 debuted (with Stripe announcing its Tap to Phone offering for Android just days ago) it will be worth following this trend further on.

Deconstructing strategies: ACI Worldwide and Worldline

Worldline – cross-border and cross-vertical expansion

France-headquartered payments enabler Worldline has proven incredibly prolific in Q4 2022 when it comes to strategic partnerships across the board. 


Wordline partnerships with knab, br-dge, Splitit, Neonomics, Wizz, Lufthansa, Fly Now Pay Later


In the Nordics, they collaborated with Open Banking enabler Neonomics to expand its A2A payments and data aggregation coverage through Neonomics, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Finnish S-Bank integrated Worldline’s Fraud Management Suite into its issuing platform in early November 2022 and Dutch online bank Knab chose the fintech for back-office processing when handling SEPA Batch payments and multi-currency payments in October.

Worldline extended its partnership with BR-DGE by enlisting its global acquiring capabilities in BR-DGE’s partnership programme. Leveraging BR-DGE’s independent payment orchestration platform and network of payment innovators enabled Worldline’s partners to acquire new merchants, retain customer relations, accelerate merchant onboarding, and gain access to a wealth of marketing and sales resources.

In December 2022, US-based instalment service Splitit partnered with Worldline to deliver an integrated card-based instalment payments solution in North America. Wordline is set to integrate Splitit into its North American processing platform and to enable Splitit APIs via its front end to provide merchants with a simplified method for adopting card-based instalments. Following the initial launch, the companies are set to continue to explore further expansion into additional geographies, so it’s worth keeping an eye on future announcements.

Among all the agreements the company signed in Q4, one focus permeated throughout Worldline’s strategy – travel payments. Worldline partnered with both a national and a budget airline, Lufthansa and Wizz Air, to onboard the payments company’s solutions, including specific payment methods, consolidated reporting capabilities, and integration with its core platform.

Fly Now Pay Later and Worldline initiated an agreement to streamline the integration process for travel merchants. Through the partnership, Fly Now Pay Later has been integrated into Worldine’s TravelHub – a platform that gives access to over 150 payment methods and currencies, multi-acquiring, tokenisation, and a range of fraud services all through a single integration accompanied by a united reporting and settlement channel.

ACI Worldwide – focus on client portfolio

US-based real-time payments enabler ACI Worldwide signed a number of strategic partnerships in Q4 2022 and, looked at globally, it became apparent that the strategy of the fintech was expanding its ecommerce payments infrastructure clients across more than three continents, in view of building further resilience in 2023.


ACI Worldwide partnerships with Axerve, BI-FAST, Vendo and NTT DATA


From enhancing payments orchestration through the integration with Axerve to an NTT DATA partnership that integrates ACI Secure eCommerce into the former’s technology solutions portfolio, ACI looked into expanding merchant access to local and cross-border acquirers and new card, digital, and mobile payment methods.

Moreover, in November 2022, ACI partnered with Vendo Services to enable crypto payments for its merchants. On the back of ACI’s strategic partnership with RocketFuel Blockchain, a global Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies payments solution provider, Vendo Services is now enabled to offer cryptocurrency processing capabilities for its merchant customers globally, providing over 127 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

In Asia, ACI Worldwide partnered up with Indonesia-based payment scheme BI-FAST to launch a new range of real-time payment services. BI-FAST has now a total of 106 participants, 19 of which use ACI Worldwide’s payment solutions to connect to it. Following this partnership, BI-FAST’s plans include expanding and interconnecting with other regional schemes, in order to create a real-time payments network for Indonesia.


2023 is firmly set in, and we can already see the ground laid out by the companies who had the foresight to predict some of the most important strategic angles to build on. With the world economy tightening its belt, fintechs become more and more reliant on the roots they managed to set up, the dependable sources of liquidity they have, and trusty partners. A consolidated set of services offered by an integrated ecommerce platform may come in handy more than ever in 2023, along with a sharp eye for seeing opportunities for financial flexibility and inclusion in key markets. 

Lastly, with real-time payment rails becoming a living breathing reality today more and more (FedNow coming to the US this year and numerous countries laying the foundation for national RTP schemes) and with initiatives such as eIDAS in the EU, mobile payments will continue to be one of the most relevant payment channels to cater to. 

Until the next edition of The Paypers Who’s Who in Payments Report, which will explore more of the intricacies of the ecommerce payments ecosystem looking back at 2022 and encompassing all the relevant stories coming from the actors setting the scene in 2023, don’t miss The Paypers Global Quarterly Analysis series so far. 

About Alexandra Constantinovici

Alexandra Constantinovici - The PaypersAlexandra is News Team Lead at The Paypers. A passionate writer, Alexandra has an extensive background in journalism – as a graduate of Journalism and Communication studies –, as well as editing, publishing, and marketing. She coordinates the news coverage at The Paypers and, together with the team of editors, she strives to bring forward the latest trends for our readers, while investigating and sharing with our community the upcoming innovative industry shifts.


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Keywords: The Paypers Quarterly Analysis series, ecommerce, mobile payments, SEPA, BNPL, travel payments, payments infrastructure
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce