According to a recent report entitled, commercial card purchase volume grew by 13% in 2013, reaching $888 billion. Commercial cards are catching on in both the U.S. and abroad. The report, created by Packaged Facts, forecasts global commercial card purchase volume to grow by 13% in 2014 & 2015. Rising from $1.4 trillion to $1.79 trillion, this growth will be fuelled by both small businesses and larger corporations.
The global landscape is quickly shifting, due in part to the quick ascension of UnionPay, which now generates more commercial card purchase volume than JCB, BC Card and Discover/Diner's Club. It surpassed Visa in 2013 as the largest network by credit and debit purchase volume. With globalization occurring at a rapid pace, payments networks and financial institutions are growing alongside the world's large corporations. They are keen to meet the needs of multinational corporations and to penetrate new markets.
U.S. commercial banks are working hard to close the commercial payments gap with competitors such as American Express. American Express can offer cards, service, solutions, and a network all under one roof. Leading U.S. commercial banks are developing in-house proprietary solutions as well as, drawing from Visa and/or MasterCard solutions, tapping their unsurpassed global location reach.
The basic impetus behind migrating to commercial cards remains cost savings. The industry is approaching that impetus with increasingly sophisticated solutions. Names like IntelliLink (Visa), SmartData (MasterCard), PAYVE (American Express) and Paymode-X (Bank of America) are adding some very enticing value propositions to their corporate clients. They are allowing corporate clients to leverage information, create process synergies, and control costs better than ever before. Gaining traction in the marketplace, these kinds of platforms are the real growth drivers behind the cards, and some no longer rely on physical cards at all.