B2B Payment Card Industry Trends To Watch In 2022



The past few years have seen a revolution in the B2B payment card industry, with many new entrants sweeping in and introducing new products and services to both reward top clients and win over prospective ones. As we move into 2022, companies will see several trends that will continue to develop.


Industry Consolidation


There will likely be a continuation of consolidation in the B2B payment card industry among the top competitors. Leading brands will grow and acquire other brands or work with their competitors to create products that offer better value, data insights, and service quality.


For example, a company might partner with one vendor for its front-end infrastructure (e.g. merchant services) and another for its back-end infrastructure (e.g. loyalty program provider). Consolidation will be an ongoing trend that will continue to evolve over time as technology, skillsets, and the industry changes.


Greater Influence Of Big Data


Despite new regulations on data privacy, more financial services firms are going to start using big data to gain a better understanding of their customers in order to provide them with better insights like "what percentage of purchases do they make through mobile devices", "how many of these customers are company employees vs. contractors", etc. They will also use this data to create more efficient marketing strategies and provide personalized offers to clients through the B2B payment card.


Increasing Use Of Analytics In Customer Service And Operations


As B2B payment card clients become more sophisticated and knowledgeable, financial services firms will need to be able to provide them with faster service while maintaining high standards of quality and consistency. Analytical tools will be used in customer service operations to understand trends better for faster responses and creation of automated responses.


Growth Of Non-Debit Cards


Consumers are shifting increasingly to non-debit cards, resulting in a decline of ATM usage. Financial services firms will have to increase their offerings of payment cards that do not require ATM transactions like standard and rewards credit cards. This is also likely to result in an expansion of the overall market.


Increasing Adoption Of Mobile Wallets


According to Beroe Inc. in 2020, globally, at least 50% of people had a mobile wallet and that number is expected to increase by 2025 to 75%. In the U.S. alone, current mobile wallet adoption levels stood at 22-25 percent. The migration to mobile wallets will lead to greater adoption of contactless payment cards and more transactions made on mobile devices as a whole. Riding this trend, by 2022 we can expect a significant increase in B2B payment card transactions will be made via mobile devices.


Increasing Adoption Of Personalized Loyalty Programs


With the growth of new customer segments and increasing spending power among existing ones, B2B firms can expect to see greater adoption of loyalty offerings in order to win over clients and provide them with better value. This will also accelerate the adoption of contactless payment cards as more clients look for the ability to redeem points and offers on the go.


More Strategic Partnerships Between Financial Services And Technology Firms


B2B payment card firms will start partnering with technology companies in order to provide their clients with a broader range of products, networks and services such as mobile wallets, point of sale systems, etc. In addition to this, technology companies will be able to leverage insights from the financial services industry (e.g. what local businesses are doing well vs. poorly) in order to drive their own products and services going forward.


Increasing Use Of Open-Loop Technology And "Merchant Agnostic Systems"


B2B payment card firms will look to leverage open-loop technology in order to provide their clients with more options and flexibility. This will result in the use of merchant agnostic systems that will allow businesses greater control over their point-of-sale systems and how they process payments, regardless of who issues their B2B payment cards. This is also likely to allow more open loop cards to be accepted in the future, with fewer restrictions on who can process a payment for that card.


Greater Focus On Managing Risk & Prevention Of Fraud


This will be one of the biggest priorities in financial services firms going forward, especially since they are already facing increasing levels of fraud due to the growth of new customer segments and the increasing sophistication of fraudsters. Businesses will look to partner with technology companies that can help them manage this risk more effectively through greater insights into data trends and transaction behavior patterns.


More Technology Integration In Mobile Wallets To Create Unified Ecosystems


Financial services firms will look for ways to integrate their mobile wallets with their existing systems in order to provide a more unified experience for clients. This will include the rollout of apps that link directly into existing back-end systems and databases, as well as mobile payment transactions that are routed through back-end systems rather than standalone terminals (to allow for better monitoring of transaction behavior).


In Summary


The most significant trends we will see in the B2B payment card market are a greater focus on security, an increased adoption of loyalty programs and mobile wallets, as well as an increasing number of partnerships between financial services firms and technology companies.


Clients in financial services will have more control over their point-of-sale systems, as well as access to a larger pool of contactless credit cards and mobile wallets. They will also become more involved in managing their own risk profile as financial services firms seek to provide them with greater security, fraud detection and prevention. Clients' growing reliance on technology is likely to result in the rollout of open-loop payment networks that can be accessed via new point of sale systems or branded apps. These trends will play out over the next five years, reshaping how businesses and consumers interact with their payment cards.


Businesses can expect to see loyalty offerings become a key differentiator as they look for ways to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market. Solutions such as contactless payment cards will also be more widely adopted, especially since contactless transactions are best suited to one-off purchases, while mobile wallets are better suited as loyalty programs and multipurpose payment tools.


This will result in more partnerships between technology companies and financial services firms as they look for ways to leverage each other's expertise. In the future, we can also expect increased collaboration as B2B payment card companies implement new practices to better manage risk and fraud. These firms will look to leverage the expertise of emerging technology companies, as well as adopt some of their strategies – such as adopting more open-loop payment solutions that can be accessed via mobile apps or digital wallets, for example.


In a nutshell, these developments will play out over the next five years. It is only by looking at the bigger B2B payment card industry trends that we can gain a sense of how these developments might shape the future of our business and consumer interactions with payment cards.

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