CEO Melissa Smith of commercial payments company WEX said that the firm is “bracing for volatility” in 2020. In an interview with Bloomberg, Smith noted that the company is keeping a close watch on consumer confidence measures and trade talks ahead of the U.S. presidential election, and that business volume is “just a hair soft."
The company offers payment services for private and government fleets, as well as travel and insurance companies, and provides management services for healthcare benefits. Smith said that a win for Senator Elizabeth Warren in the election would likely be “neutral for WEX” because “we’re not a bank.” She added that any changes in the health insurance industry after the election is likely to have no impact on the company's position, as “even progressive Democrats offer accounts.”
WEX’s shares have gotten a 50 percent boost this year, and the company has been busy making deals to expand its scale, technology and geographic reach. Last week, it announced a partnership with Mastercard to issue virtual cards in the United Arab Emirates. In July, WEX acquired Go Fuel Card, headquartered in the Netherlands. That same month, the company announced an expansion of its collaboration with Visa, allowing WEX to issue Visa virtual commercial cards for its corporate clients in the U.S., Canada and Europe. At the same time, WEX also revealed an expansion of its collaboration with Shell in a deal that spread the acceptance of WEX mobile fleet payment technologies to various Shell locations.
Just last month, the company announced a new business segment under its Corporate Payments division, created to address the payment needs of financial institution (FI) clients. WEX reported that it already processes nearly $70 billion worth of transactions on its platform, and nearly half of that is on behalf of FIs.