Commercial Payments Overview

February 2024

The global B2B payment market is gaining increasing attention from financial card and electronic direct payment platforms, as more consumer payment value has been converted away from paper. The USD32.7 trillion spent by merchants through paper payment channels globally in 2023 represents the single largest paper payment opportunity to convert. Fintech has the potential to offer additional products and services that appeal to merchants, based on their size and industry, going forward.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

1. Fintech is increasingly turning to B2B payments to drive greater value for merchants through value-added services that use the information created from transactions, and reduce the processing time. Similarly to how fintech has installed itself in the consumer payment process, it is also moving into B2B channels where merchants are underserved.

2. Financial cards accounted for 2.8% of total B2B spend in 2023, the lowest of any payment channel. Electronic direct held the largest share of total B2B payment value, at 71%. For this dynamic to shift significantly will require payment players to invest in platforms that benefit merchants, and that are easy to use.

3. Globally, USD32.7 trillion in B2B payment value was made with paper (cash, cheques and other paper) in 2023. This payment channel is more than twice the much more competitive consumer paper payment value opportunity in 2023. As consumer paper payments continue to decline, financial card and electronic direct payment platforms will increasingly target B2B spending to grow electronic and financial card payment volume.

4. The Asia Pacific region generated the most B2B payment value in 2023, at USD31.9 trillion. The region is home to the most payment innovation focused on converting B2B paper to electronic or financial card alternatives. Cash conversion has worked for consumers in the region, and there are notable lessons from this that are also applicable to commercial payments. These lessons may also be applicable in other regions.

5. The US leads the commercial financial card market, accounting for 58% of total commercial card payment value in 2023. Card networks based in the US are investing in commercial card platforms which can reach more merchants of all sizes across all industries. However, for greater conversion, there will need to be greater investment in value-added services and loyalty/reward programmes tailored according to merchant size.

Key findings
Total B2B payment value
Global commercial cards by type
Commercial card programmes tailored to merchant size
Medium business
Commercial cards tailored to merchant type
Market consolidation gives larger merchants leverage
Commercial card competitive landscape – network
Commercial card competitive landscape – issuer
Paper payment opportunity
Paper payment opportunity
Converting transactions
Electronic payments’ benefits and limitations
The fraud opportunity
Regional dive: Asia Pacific and Australia
Ant Group’s blockchain Trusple system powers banks to serve SMEs for cross-border trading
Regional dive: North America
Market in focus: US and RTP
Regional dive: Latin America
Market in focus: Brazil and the success of Pix
Regional dive: The Middle East and Africa
Market in focus: Nigeria’s Interswitch
Regional dive: Western Europe
Market in focus: Adyen expanding financial services
Regional dive: Eastern Europe
Market in focus: Poland
Key findings
Notes and definitions

Consumer Finance

This is the aggregation of ATM, charge, credit, debit, e-purse and retail cards. Note that smart cards are not included in financial cards.

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