Investing in Cashlessness Part 2

Published on 12/20/19 | Saurav Sen | 1,591 Words

The BuyGist:

  • We carry on from Investing in Cashlessness Part 1.
  • We dig into 4 companies that are facilitating and gaining from the cashlessness revolution.
  • We chart out their revenue, operating cash flow and free cash flow numbers.
  • We estimate a “fair value” for each company.
  • We compare this fair value to current Market Cap.
  • We zoom into 2 companies that need further digging-in.

Where the smart money is.

We drew the cashless payments landscape in Investing in Cashlessness Part 1. The overarching movement in the Payments world is:

  1. Move from cash transactions to credit and debit card transactions.
  2. Move from credit/debit card to digital wallets and non-card transactions.

But there are still 4 basic types of money transactions, cash or no cash:

  1. Business to Business: B2B
  2. Customer to Business: C2B
  3. Business to Customer: B2C
  4. Customer to Customer: C2C

And to carry out these transactions, these used to be the main players:

  1. Merchant
  2. Merchant Acquirer: Merchant’s Bank
  3. Card Network: Like Visa or Mastercard
  4. Payment Processor: Like FirstData
  5. Customer
  6. Issuer: Customer’s Bank

Here’s the flow of cashless payments used to look, circa 2010, according to KPMG:

But now, circa 2019, this is the slight amendment that is creating a disruption across the chain:

This ability to use neither cash nor checks nor cards to transfer money to friends and family was a C2C innovation – John to Jane. But it has reverberated from C2C (see above) towards B2C and C2B. That’s a disruptor, which in the early stages of mass adoption. When you compound this move towards cashlessness and cardlessness with hundreds of millions of yet-to-be-banked people in Asia and Africa, you’ve got a phenomenon on your hands. This technological innovation is slowly but surely leading to a world that’s:

  1. Cashless
  2. Contactless/Cardless
  3. Borderless
  4. Frictionless
  5. Hassle-less

Consumers want it. Businesses want it. The main impediments are:

  1. Habit
  2. Costs

Both barriers are likely to decrease significantly over the next few years. That’s our bet. This is a double-edged sword. Companies that are facilitating this phenomenon may face pricing pressure but will hope to more than offset that decline on higher volume.  

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