Major card-issuing institutions stake their bets on B2B

Visa, MasterCard, and Amex move toward B2B

Major card-issuing institutions stake their bets on B2B. Source: shutterstock.com

It is always hard to predict future, especially if we are talking about FinTech and B2B, but there is one thing we can say for sure – 2018 was a big year for B2B and commercial cards. Thus, there is every reason to believe that the trend will not change in 2019. Major credit card giants slowly but surely are entering the B2B payments market.

PaySpace Magazine would like to share its musings about the future of B2B and commercial card adoption. We have found out that major payment systems, such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are not only thinking about commercial card adoption, but also about investing in FinTech, which could considerably help in digitizing B2B payments. Therefore, we offer you the latest facts about three major card-issuing companies, and how exactly they plan to expand their influence on the market.

Visa and Fraedom acquisition

Visa was eager to enter B2B payments market for a long time, and 2017 was the year when they started to take concrete steps towards their aim. Since they focused on B2B payments, they found a way to test the B2B Connect system in 2018, which is a cross-border corporate payments solution, which includes DLT (distributed ledger technology).

contactless payments

Visa was eager to enter B2B payments market for a long time. Source: shutterstock.com

Nevertheless, this appeared to be not the most significant step towards their major aim. 2018 was also the year when they made something substantial, and it is Fraedom acquisition we are referring to. Early in February 2018, Visa announced that it had acquired Fraedom for $195M, and the main reason was the expansion of B2B payments. Therefore, they showed that they would like not only to promote commercial card adoption, but also to integrate new features in order to rationalize payments and provide better serviceability to its corporate clients.

According to an interview with Visa’s Head of Global Business Solutions, Kevin Phalen, the purchasing of Fraedom can’t solve all issues, since the aim is rather complicated, but it surely resolves multiple problems and takes things to the next level.

I think there is a perception of simplicity, but the reality in commercial payments is that where there are many parties, there is a lot of friction. And once you go global, it creates more problems. Ultimately, what you have to do is attack each component of that complexity, rather than assume there is one answer to everything. You have to do so in a thoughtful way, one bit at a time, versus either assuming the answer is simple, or assuming the market is complex and there is an easy answer
Kevin Phalen, Visa Head of Global Business Solutions

MasterCard is headed to the buyer-supplier connection

MasterCard is the company that has always been keeping up with Visa and Amex, and sometimes has even been a couple of steps ahead. The company also decided to move in the same direction as Visa and announced that B2B payments were considered to be the major element of the firm’s development plan for the past year. In 2018, the firm’s CEO and President Ajaypal Singh Banga stated during MasterCard Q3 that the launching of Mastercard Track was considered to be one of the most prominent steps in the company’s development plan.

Track basically solves key challenges in the procure-to-pay process, including managing supply chain risk and creating more transparency in the B2B payments process
Ajaypal Singh Banga, MasterCard CEO and President

What’s more, a couple of weeks after the first notion about MasterCard’s Mastercard Track announcement, the company revealed that they plan to collaborate with Microsoft. This, in turn, has confirmed assumptions that MasterCard is demonstrating its full readiness to focus on B2B payments (not only on commercial card adoption).

MasterCard believes that their clients need to manage their full supply chain. Source: shutterstock.com

MasterCard believes that their clients need to manage their full supply chain in a more accurate and convenient way, and the firm is ready to offer the solution.

American Express believes in blockchain for B2B

So, what do we have for now? Visa is headed to cross-border corporate payments, MasterCard has become engaged in buyer-supplier connection, so what’s left for American Express? This company, in the meantime, is ready to implement blockchain technology for B2B payments.

Amex has already filed some blосkсhаin-related patents, mostly related to B2B payments. Source: shutterstock.com

As we know, Amex has already filed some blосkсhаin-related patents, mostly related to B2B payments. However, the company didn’t leave the matter there and kept investing in blockchain through the partnership with Riррlе.

We did a test, partnering with Santander locally, and with Ripple to just do cross-border transactions. And in a matter of seconds, through this test, our clients were able to transfer funds in a very transparent and seamless way, from one part of the world to another
Carlos Carriedo, American Express General Manager of Corporate Payments

And this is what he said about the firm’s plans for 2019:

Blockchain is absolutely an option we’re looking at. Just to give you a sense, we have invested in a FinTech lab based on blockchain technology, just to understand how to leverage this better.

SEE ALSO: 5 global banking trends that will continue to thrive in 2019

facebook