B2B Payments

Commercial Cards, B2B Payments Get A Lift During Earnings Season

Earnings results showed continued uptake in commercial card issuance and use, here and abroad, as WEX, Mastercard and Visa reported earnings and strong B2B growth. Separately, Brex and Mastercard said they expanded card perks across the U.S.

Earnings season is upon us, offering insight into business spending among payment network giants such as Visa, Mastercard and WEX — across cards and, of course, cross-border payments.

In the Mastercard results late last month, management said it had seen growth across credit, debit, prepaid and commercial spending. In results that also spotlighted a 17 percent cross-border volume growth, CEO Ajay Banga told analysts that — among other pacts, such as with Bank of America — continued growth was in the cards for commercial business outside the U.S.

“Bank of America has committed to being our next Mastercard Track B2B Hub customers, bringing enhanced account[s] payable capabilities to its clients in the United States,” he told analysts on the call.

Mastercard also announced last week that it has extended its partnership with Brex, aimed at fueling growth within the U.S. Brex has named Mastercard as its preferred network giant.

Under the existing relationship, Brex has been able to issue World Elite Mastercard for Business commercial cards. The companies said that Brex’s Mastercard users will now have access to benefits tailored to their specific industries. Perks already extant under the program include insurance for cell phones and rental cars, but Brex plans to offer additional products and services using Mastercard’s network.

Earlier this year, Mastercard and Brex announced their partnership to support access to business travel rewards for joint startup clients, with a card issued by Emigrant Savings Bank at the time.

Mastercard said separately that it is adding Microsoft solutions to its suite of small business benefits. The tech giant’s solutions are being made available across Mastercard Business and Mastercard Business World Elite offerings in the U.S. The Microsoft offerings include Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Advertising.

BlueVine Business Banking

BlueVine, which offers online working capital for small businesses, said last week that it launched BlueVine Business Banking, a new banking service specific to small businesses.

The company said that among its offerings would be an “easy to use” dashboard and BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard to help firms manage their balances. BlueVine added that its own studies have shown that only 9 percent of businesses feel their banks meet their financial needs.

Among services on offer, BlueVine Business Debit Mastercard enables firms to withdraw money at more than 38,000 ATM MoneyPass locations across the U.S. Firms can also deposit checks using the BlueVine Business Banking mobile app.

Other earnings reports showed continued growth in commercial payments.

Visa

In its own results, Visa said B2B transactions have topped $1 trillion on an annualized basis, and now represent 12 percent of the company’s business. Management spotlighted renewed pacts in the U.K. with an issuer for commercial credit, and with new issuance of Ziraat Bank’s commercial credit in Turkey.

In addition, CEO Alfred Kelly said that Intuit is enabling Instant Deposit, a new feature that allows for real-time disbursements for small business owners, using QuickBooks Payments, directly to their eligible debit cards using Visa Direct.

JPMorgan, he noted, will offer its commercial clients the ability to more efficiently send digital payments with access to Visa’s Business Payments Network, a collaboration with Billtrust that routes electronic payments from buyers to suppliers through their existing AR provider.

WEX

WEX posted its own results this past week, stating that it saw double-digit volumes in corporate and travel payments. CEO Melissa Smith called out fleet card deals, such as the ones with Shell and Chevron, saying that the two pacts contributed about 60 percent of the payment processing growth of about 15 percent. The travel segment saw growth underpinned by accounts payable product sales. Within healthcare, she added, there was 18 percent growth in Software-as-a-Service accounts.

Digging deeper into fleet solutions, payment processing revenues were up 8 percent to $125 million, according to company materials, while transactions gained 15 percent. Similarly showing double-digit percentage gains were payment processing revenues within the travel and corporate solutions segment, up 57 percent to $85.1 million.

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