This article is part of a larger series on Payments.
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 18 B2B payment statistics you need to know.
B2B Payments Overview
1. The B2B payments market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 10% through 2028
The global B2B payments market was worth $903.5 billion in 2021, with forecasts to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2% through 2028. This means the global B2B payments market will amount to a predicted $1.6 trillion by 2028.
2. There will be more than $100 trillion in B2B payments by 2025
In 2021, $84 trillion in B2B payments were processed. Forecasts predict this to grow to more than $100 trillion by 2025.
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
According to Gartner’s 2020 Future of Sales study, a majority—eight in 10—of B2B “buyer-supplier” sales interactions will be digital by 2025. The biggest benefit is lower payment processing costs due to improved data quality and fewer time-consuming manual processes.
4. Check and cash transactions will make up most B2B payments in 2022
A 2021 report from Insider Intelligence estimates that most B2B transactions in 2022—worth about $12 trillion—will be handled via check or cash. ACH payments were predicted to be the second most popular transaction method for B2B transactions (at $11.75 trillion), continuing its upward trend. Card and wire payments in 2022 are expected to remain steady at approximately $3 trillion and $1.8 trillion, respectively.
5. The B2B virtual card payment market is expected to reach $553 billion by 2024
The global B2B virtual card payment market is forecast to grow to $553 billion by 2024. 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.
6. Domestic payments will make up 59% 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 nearly 60% of total B2B payments in 2025.
7. Most B2B payments happen in the Asia-Pacific region
Compared to other parts of the world, the Asia-Pacific region’s B2B market makes up the largest slice of payments—and this trend is expected to continue. This is likely 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
8. 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.
9. 61% of companies plan to use more ACH B2B payments
A 2021 Bottomline survey found that most companies plan to increase their use of ACH payments (61%) or same-day ACH payments (23%) for B2B transactions over the next 12 months. Nearly 30% each plan to use more virtual cards and more real-time payment options.
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. 9 in 10 businesses are investing more in B2B payment technology
One survey found that approximately 90% of respondents have invested more money in B2B payment solutions and technology over the past two years. Here’s how it breaks down:
- 50% of businesses increased spending between 5%–10%
- 40% of businesses increased spending between 11%–20%
Businesses that aren’t investing in this technology may find it difficult to keep up.
B2B Payments Challenges
12. 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. Some 56% say they “struggle a great deal,” and 88% say managing international payments inhibits their growth ability.
13. 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
14. 92% of professionals believe better B2B payment processes will increase EPS
When it comes to accounts receivable (A/R), 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.
15. 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.
16. 50% of professionals spend 6 to 10 hours managing B2B payments each month
Managing B2B payment 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.
17. Cybersecurity is the No. 1 concern for 52% of businesses
B2B payments aren’t only time-consuming, but they’re also risky. Cybersecurity is the top A/R and B2B payments concern for more than half of finance professionals in 2022.
18. 49% of businesses have faced payment fraud attempts
About half of companies were victims of “serious” attempts at payment fraud in the previous year—15% say they faced a financial loss as a result. Corporations and banks alike are increasingly concerned with the threat.
While the digital trend for B2B payments 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.