Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. led the global commercial card market last year, accounting for 58% of total payment value, according to a report issued last month by research firm Euromonitor International.
  • However, the U.S. also accounted for 78% of the “absolute value lost to fraud from financial cards” last year, ranking first out of the 47 global markets covered, the report said.
  • “What we’re seeing with talking with issuers and networks is the beginning of launching products and converting [the business-to-business] payment channel,” said Kendrick Sands, Euromonitor’s global head of consumer finance research, in a Tuesday interview. “We’re not necessarily seeing the the growth yet. But we kind of expect it to accelerate going forward.”

Dive Insight:

Financial cards accounted for just 2.8% of global B2B spending last year, ranking last behind payment types such as cash, check and electronic payments, according to the report.

The sizable lead of the U.S. in global commercial card spending was spurred by competition in the domestic card network market, Sands said. “We have four international networks based here,” Sands said, which led to “more focus on converting different payment channels. Other markets might not be as competitive.”

Those U.S.-based card networks are investing in commercial cards as they look to expand their business beyond consumer cards, Sands said. But those networks will need to invest in tailored rewards programs and value-added services to compete with electronic payments, according to the report.

Besides cost, card networks will need to address fraud losses, which have been rising globally over the past five years, but are particularly acute in the U.S., according to the report.

The problem comes down to lax security measures for cards, according to Sands. “We’re still relying on signatures in the U.S. and that’s just kind of unheard of internationally,” he said, adding that measures like a PIN number or multi-factor authentication via text message would be an improvement.

On the issuer side, the U.S. is home to six of the largest global issuers by value: American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and U.S. Bancorp, the report said. Those six accounted for $1.3 trillion of global commercial card payment value in 2023, up from $1.1 trillion in 2022, according to the report.

In 2022, American Express led the pack with 19% of all commercial value, the report said. That was down slightly from 2017, when that figure was 21%. Sands attributed that not to a dip in absolute value, but in shrinking opportunity for consumer cards.


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