The B2B payments landscape is evolving rapidly with products that help businesses leave behind out-dated manual processes. Entrepreneurs, finance teams and CFOs can now automate and analyse business finances faster and more effectively thanks to innovative solutions.
Here are 50 B2B payments statistics that will help you understand this booming market’s current trends and future prospects.
We’ve categorised them by:
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According to a study on B2B payment transactions made across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, the major forces driving the B2B payments industry are the increases in:
There are two types of B2B payments – domestic and cross-border transactions.
Fifty-five countries have access to fast B2B payment processing, including North America (e.g., Same-DayACH), Europe (e.g., the UK’s Faster Payments), and Asia (e.g., Singapore’s FAST). (9) However, cross-border payments take 55% longer than domestic payments for US & UK businesses (3).
Of the $120+ trillion in global B2B payments in 2021, at least $10 trillion was for cross-border transactions. (3)
Fifty-four percent of global companies say speed of payment is their primary factor in choosing cross-border B2B payment solutions. (1)
Financial institution executives are far less satisfied with the domestic and cross-border payment services they offer small and mid-sized businesses. While 80% are very satisfied with their cross-border solutions for large enterprises, only 20% of these same executive respondents say they are “extremely satisfied” with their solutions for small business. (11)
According to a PYMNTS 2022 report on B2B payment friction, SMB buyers and sellers experience different pain points.
On average, SMB payers identified five problems when they make B2B payments:
SMB suppliers and vendors encountered four major pain points in receiving payments:
Let’s take a look at the B2B payments market size, pain points and regional differences.
While historical data on business-to-business (B2B) payments tends to vary, the market’s growth is evident across the board.
According to Prophecy Market Insights, the global B2B payments market reached a value of US$732.4 billion in 2019. (16). The worldwide pandemic caused a temporary but significant drop in B2B payments across the globe, ending with a US$868-million market size in 2020. (17).
It rebounded in 2021 with a total value of US$125 billion according to the B2B Payments Market report. (18) Juniper Research says the global B2B payments market will pass $111 trillion in 2027, increasing significantly from its current size of over $88 trillion in 2022. (2) Other reports expect a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% by 2027 (16) and 10.7% between 2021 and 2030. (17)
Twenty-seven percent of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) consider the complicated nature of cross-border payment processing a major obstacle. (11)
Sixty-four percent of all companies in 2022 made more than half of their business-to-business payments electronically, while only 28% still processed transactions manually, (4)
In 2022, SMBs cited manual review, the high cost of using credit, and the high cost of making payments as their top three concerns when making B2B payments. (15)
Ninety percent of global companies consider it important or very important for fast payments to carry smart, extensive remittance information with them. This enriched remittance information would give finance teams the details they need to apply them, track delivery and reconcile accounts more efficiently. (1)
North American companies were more concerned with payment speed (48%), certainty of payment (42%), and risk of fraud (41%) in a 2022 survey on digital payments made by the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP). (1)
Forty-eight percent of US & Canadian companies believe faster payments have had no impact on their organisation. According to the AFP study, international companies have more access to faster payments than North American businesses. (1)
In 2021, executives from US companies ranked their top three cross-border innovation plans for the next three years as push payments, payments to digital wallets, and payments from invoice. (3)
Sixty-two percent of US companies were interested in third-party providers help to speed up and streamline their businesses for faster payments. (3)
According to the AFP Digital Payments 2022 survey, the top three concerns for international companies outside North America are speed of payment (73%), transaction cost (60%), currency risk (52%). (1)
Ninety-two percent of international companies believe that faster payments have positively impacted their organisation (1).
In an international 2021 payments survey, UK businesses generated 25.2% of their total revenue in international sales. The average annual sales of surveyed businesses equalled $344.4 million. (3)
UK businesses traded primarily with Western Europe (74.5%), Eastern Europe (49.7%) and the US (5.6%). (3)
UK businesses with more than $500 million in annual sales received an average of 30% of their total revenue from international business. (3)
Despite the short distance between UK businesses and their mostly European trading partners, international B2B payments took an average of 30.1 days to settle. (3)
In 2021 UK companies selected payment from invoice, rules-based payments, and push payments as their top three-year cross-border priorities for future innovation. (3)
Seventy-three percent of international companies (outside the US & Canada) consider speed of payment their top priority when choosing a payment option. Only 48% of US & Canadian firms consider it a high-priority need. (1)
In 2020 and 2021, companies reported that scammers predominantly used these three payment types for fraud: checks, ACH debits and wire transfers. (12)
The most common methods B2B companies choose for their B2B payments are:
Here’s a quick look at each payment method:
Paper checks for B2B payments have dropped steadily since 2004, however global companies still pay 31% of invoices with checks. US and Canadian businesses continue to use paper checks at a slightly higher rate. (1)
Despite the consistent drop in B2B check use, 86% of global companies still pay some invoices with checks and 92% accept checks as payment. According to AFP, companies continue to embrace checks because they’re low tech, easy to trace and reconcile, and have the necessary remittance information built-in. (9)
According to an AFP 2022 survey, the median cost of issuing paper checks is between $2.01 and $4. This cost has remained the same since the last survey in 2015. (9) The survey also shows that 33% of businesses pay $4.01 to $10 or higher to issue a check (9).
In 2022, organisations reported processing a median of between 500 and 999 checks per month, a major decline from the average of 1000 to 1999 in the 2015 report. (9)
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In 2022, companies reported a median of 100 to 499 wire transfers as outgoing B2B payments per month. This figure has remained the same since the 2015 report. (9)
A business’s preferred payment method to settle its major supplier invoices varied by country in 2022. Companies based outside North America used wire transfers for 20% of their payments and international SWIFT transfers for 14%. (1)
North American companies used fewer wire transfers than their international counterparts, 12% and 6%, respectively. Instead they preferred Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments 30% of the time, probably because the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) raised their same-day maximum transfer amounts to US$1m in March 2022. (1)
The number of wire transfer payment fraud attempts dropped from 39% in 2020 to 32% in 2021. Companies have become more adept at recognising fraud, which has led to its steady decrease. (12)
The median external cost to receive credit card payments for all businesses surveyed was 2% to 2.49%, which also means that 37% of companies were paying 2.50% to 4% or higher to accept them. (9)
Fifty percent of companies paid between 0% and 0.99% internally to process credit card payments. So it’s no surprise that only 32% of companies had an average credit card purchase of $499 to $1500 or higher. (9)
Physical card payments to major suppliers dropped slightly from 4% (2019) to 3% (2022) for all companies, probably due to the credit card processing costs cited above. However, their major customers paid 4% of invoices with physical cards in 2022. (1)
In 2022, the median number of monthly credit card payments made by businesses was 100 to 499. Sixty-nine percent of companies accepted credit cards as a means of payment. (9)
Fifty-five percent of CFOs are now increasingly taking advantage of digital innovation, such as ePayables with virtual cards. Manual methods are becoming less popular: 78% of CFOs use cash on delivery less often, while 40% are cutting back their paper check usage. (4)
According to AFP’s payment costs survey, companies use expense and virtual cards because they streamline accounts payables, reduce the need for checks, and often include accounting system or ERP-compatible spend management tools. These factors can reduce their cost per transaction. 65% of companies had a transaction cost of $0 to $1.99. (9)
Despite the low cost and efficiency of virtual cards, companies only used them for 2% of major supplier payments. They also received 2% of virtual card payments from their major customers. (1)
Thirty-one percent of all companies reported virtual cards as an accepted form for outgoing payments while 54% of businesses with $1 to $4.9 billion in annual revenue included them as a form of payment. The median number of virtual card payments in 2022 for all companies was less than 100 per month. (9)
Sixty percent of companies are aware of their virtual card costs compared with 77% for credit card costs in 2022. (9)
Nearly one-quarter of SMBs consider high price as the main factor in not moving forward with an all-in-one B2B payments solution to send payments (27%) or accept payments (24%). (14)
Sixty-seven percent of SMBs considering an all-in-one payment solution were willing to pay for it if the transaction fees equalled 1% of processed payment amounts, and 41% still were still on board even if fees were as much as 2%. (14)
A whopping 62% of companies gave increased efficiency as their reason for choosing electronic payments and automation. It’s a significant shift from the 2019 pre-pandemic survey when efficiency concerns barely ranked fourth or fifth. (9)
The desire for improved security (in 2022) and fraud controls (in 2019) has maintained the number two priority regarding electronic payments and automation. (9)
Accounts payable manual processing and labour costs per invoice for mid-sized companies were $16 and $22.26 for small businesses, according to one report. Automated payment systems lowered these costs to $5.89 for mid-sized companies and $6.89 for small businesses, an impressive 60% to 70% savings per invoice. (13)
A surprising 53% of companies still using primarily manual processes reported they don’t intend to add automation. Thirty-eight percent of these companies cited security as their top concern, and 31% considered their companies too small for automation. (13)
Forty-four percent of financial professionals were worried about their firms' future without plans for automation. (13)
Gartner’s Future of Sales study predicts 80% of sales interactions between B2B suppliers and buyers will take place in digital channels by 2025. Thirty-three percent of all buyers prefer a seller-free sales experience, and that number increases to 44% for millennials. As millennials continue to make or influence more B2B purchase decisions, these figures will rise. (7)
By 2027, the global number of virtual card transactions will surpass 121 billion, from its current position of 28 billion in 2022. The report predicts $71 billion in B2B virtual card revenue from the US alone, which is 72% of global income. (5)
Fintech providers may want to invest in offering an all-in-one B2B payment solution with enhanced functionalities or added benefits. For example, approximately 53% of companies surveyed say they would use an all-in-one provider if they include monetary perks, tax breaks or increased accounting efficacy for a 1% fee. (14). The market share of SMBs that are somewhat likely to pay this fee increases to 73%. If the fee is set at 2% with the same rewards and perks, even 53% of respondents said they would still be willing to pay. (14)
Here are the answers to the most common questions about B2B payments:
In 2022, the global B2B payments market surpassed the $1 trillion mark in US dollars according to Allied Market Research. Not surprising, as this same market in 2021 reached $1.25 trillion in value. Current forecasts expect it to more than double to $3.13 trillion by 2031 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9% according to the report. (16)
According to AFP’s Payment Costs 2022 survey, the average company sends between 1000 and 1999 ACH credit transfers, making it the most common payment form after checks with 500 to 999 payments sent per month. (9)
Wire transfers, credit card payments, and ACH debit transfers all averaged 100 to 499 monthly transactions. Less common payment forms, such as virtual cards, debit cards, and real-time payments, had less than 100 uses per month for most companies. (9)
Regardless of which report you read, the future looks promising for B2B payments. Juniper Research predicts global B2B transactions to reach $111 trillion by 2027. Key factors in this significant growth are inflation, a strong need for efficiency in finance departments, and growth in developing markets. (3)
Allied Research Group forecast reports expect the B2B payments market to grow steadily with an average growth rate of 9.9% over the next 8 years. They foresee its market size increasing dramatically from over $1 trillion in 2022 to $3.13 trillion by 2031. (16)
The most common B2B payment terms are Net 30, Net 60, or Net 90, which refer to your payment deadline. If your payment terms are net 30, your payment due date is within 30 days of receipt of invoice.
Companies can give customers an early payment incentive like a 2% discount for payment in 10 days instead of waiting until the 30-day deadline.
The research is clear: the global B2B payments industry of the future will be faster, more streamlined and with less manual admin. New studies will soon show us what the consequences of postponing these innovations are.
We hope these B2B payments statistics give you a clearer understanding of its landscape and future trends.
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Written by Suzanne Berthuy