The B2B (business-to-business) payments market is growing, with payments becoming increasingly digital. Although the market as a whole is becoming more flexible and secure, there are still challenges that inhibit businesses’ ability to efficiently manage B2B payments, not to mention expand internationally.
Whether you operate a B2B company or need to make regular or recurring payments to your suppliers and vendors, we rounded up nearly two dozen B2B payment statistics you need to know.
- B2B payments are growing: The market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% through 2030.
- B2B payments are going digital: Up to 80% of B2B transactions will be digital by 2025.
- Cybersecurity is a foremost concern in B2B payments: More than half of B2B merchants cite cybersecurity as their top concern.
B2B Payments Overview
1. The B2B payments market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 10% through 2030
The global B2B payments market size reached $994.2 billion in 2022, with forecasts to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% through 2030. This means the global B2B payments market will amount to a predicted $2.1 trillion by 2030.
2. There will be more than $111 trillion in B2B payments by 2027
In 2022, $88 trillion in B2B payments were processed. Forecasts predict this figure to grow to more than $111 trillion by 2027.
Related: Learn about the tools behind payment processing in our guide to merchant accounts for small businesses.
3. 80% of B2B transactions will be digital by 2025
Digital B2B payments are increasing; Gartner’s 2020 report forecast that 80% of “buyer-seller” sales interactions will be digital by 2025.
According to a 2022 B2B payments report, 49% of businesses surveyed said they will be converting from paper check to electronic payments. The biggest benefit is lower payment processing costs due to improved data quality and fewer time-consuming manual processes.
4. ACH credits and check transactions make up most B2B payments in 2022
According to the 2022 AFP Digital Payments Report, 35% of B2B payments in North America in 2022 were received via ACH credits, and 25% were received via paper checks. This is followed by domestic wire transfers at 13%.
5. 33% of organizations continue to use checks for B2B payments in 2022
While around a third of organizations still use checks for B2B payments, this is a steady decrease from 51% in 2016 and 42% in 2019.
6. B2B payments are expected to make up 71% of the total value of the virtual card payment market in 2026
Virtual card transactions are expected to reach $6.8 trillion globally in 2026. Virtual cards offer conveniences for businesses, such as employee-issued cards and spend tracking tools. These benefits are even more valuable in an increasingly remote workforce.
7. Domestic payments will make up nearly 60% of total B2B transactions in 2025
While many B2B payments cross international borders, most are anticipated to be domestic. Domestic transactions are expected to account for 59% of total B2B payments in 2025.
8. Most B2B payments happen in the US and Canada
Compared to other parts of the world, North America’s B2B market makes up the largest slice of payments—and this trend is expected to continue. However, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at a rapid pace because businesses in those markets adopt more virtual payment methods at faster rates than in other regions. Plus, there’s a “growing presence of major players in the market.”
B2B Payments Technology
9. 64% of companies use electronic methods for at least half of B2B payments
Many companies leverage the convenience of digital B2B payment options. Nearly two-thirds make more than half (51%) of B2B payments electronically.
10. There are 10 top “prominent players” for B2B payments
According to research, the top companies driving the B2B payments market forward are:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
Related: Compare three of the top players in our guide to Stripe vs Square vs PayPal.
11. 8 out of 10 businesses are investing more or planning to invest in B2B payment technology for AP
In one survey, 81% of respondents have invested or planned to invest more in accounts payable (AP) B2B payment solutions and technology in 2022, while 77% have invested or planned to invest more in accounts receivable (AR) systems. Businesses that aren’t investing in this technology may find it difficult to keep up.
12. The use of cryptocurrency for B2B cross-border transactions is expected to increase
The volume of B2B cross-border payments using cryptocurrency is expected to reach 745 million by 2025. The Asian market is in the lead for blockchain B2B transactions, followed by Europe.
B2B Payments Challenges
13. 45% of businesses cite manual review as the biggest problem they face in B2B payments
The top three problems that businesses face when making B2B payments are manual review (45%), high cost of using credit (43%), and high cost of making payments (41%).
14. 90% of businesses struggle with exchange rates in B2B payments
One challenge that prevents businesses from expanding into international commerce is the complications involved with managing fluctuating foreign exchange rates. As many as 95% of finance professionals say they would be able to put more effort into international expansion if there was a better way to handle exchange rates. Fifty-six percent say they “struggle a great deal,” and 88% say managing international payments inhibits their growth ability.
15. B2B finance professionals want 3 key things
When it comes to B2B payments, those who work in the industry wish they had three key features or benefits when it comes to B2B payment technology:
- Fast payment process
- No or low fees, costs, and rates
- Easier payment methods
16. 92% of professionals believe better B2B payment processes will increase EPS
When it comes to accounts receivable, most finance professionals believe B2B payments need better processes. As many as 92% agree that more efficient systems would increase the company’s overall earnings per share (EPS). More than 60% strongly agree with this viewpoint.
17. 27% of businesses lose 6% to 10% in monthly revenue to inefficient B2B payment processes
Inefficiencies with B2B payment processes are costly to companies—76% of finance professionals believe they’ve lost money due to convoluted processes. More than a quarter of businesses lose up to 10% and almost half lose 4% to 5% of their monthly revenue to inefficiencies. Companies that do business internationally are twice as much at risk.
18. 50% of professionals spend 6 to 10 hours managing B2B payments each month
Managing B2B payments is both time-consuming and costly. Half of finance professionals spend up to 10 hours each month managing B2B payments. They believe this time could be better spent on strategy. Professionals with VP-level and higher roles believe their teams spend more than that—in fact, they’re twice as likely to think their team wastes over 20 hours each month managing B2B payments.
19. Cybersecurity is the No. 1 concern for 52% of businesses
B2B payments aren’t only time-consuming, but they’re also risky. Cybersecurity was the top AR and B2B payments concern for more than half of finance professionals in 2022.
20. Most US businesses were affected by payment fraud in 2022
In 2022, 56% of US companies were targeted by at least one fraud attempt, with paper check fraud as the most common type of fraud. More than 10% were targeted 10+ times.
21. Security, ease of use, and functionality are the top factors affecting businesses’ decisions to use payment technologies
Half of small businesses and 66% of large businesses said that overall security and fraud prevention is the top factor that will affect their decisions to use innovative payment solutions.
22. Small businesses are most interested in applying artificial intelligence (AI) or robotic process automation (RPA) to reconciliation
AI and RPA are finding their way into trends in digital payments. Twenty-one percent of small businesses are interested in applying AI or RPA in reconciliation. Another 20% believe these innovations will reduce manual work for invoicing.
An emerging B2B payment trend is the shift to digital. While this is welcome, as it brings convenience and flexibility, it also brings its own set of challenges. Expanding internationally and fighting fraud are constant struggles when it comes to B2B payments. But as banks are increasingly aware and concerned, more security and fraud prevention tools are likely to become available.