Complex Business Relationships Drive the Commercial Cards Industry


Partnership activity across commercial cards is accelerating.

Mercator Advisory Group reports that the commercial cards industry is driven by multiple underlying service relationships and this reach is broadening through payables and technology.

Author: Steve Murphy
Published on: September 11, 2017

The credit card industry has over time created what can reasonably be described as the only true real-time global payment network. A corporate user can execute a payment request to a supplier/merchant from and to anywhere cards are accepted across the globe. The merchant then gains authorization and clearance for the transaction in just a few seconds, allowing for immediate service provision. It all sounds relatively simple, but the infrastructure, software, and services forming the foundation of this reliable payment network are anything but simple. During the past 10 years there has been a concerted effort on the part of the commercial cards industry to gain a stronger foothold in the business payments space, most specifically business-to-business (B2B) payables. This objective is being advanced through technology and ongoing partnerships as the industry adapts to the changing world of digital payments.

In a new research report, Complex Business Relationships Drive the Commercial Cards Industry, Mercator Advisory Group examines the level of complexity and increasing breadth of participants involved to deliver better payables solutions through the cards networks.

“The delivery of this end-to-end seamless payment experience requires multiple interconnected systems and business partnerships across the networks. The industry has made constant tweaks and adaptations to continue gaining stronger footholds in the volume-rich B2B payments market. Most recently we have seen high growth rates for use of virtual card accounts in the payables workflow furthering the penetration of the supplier base with creative tools,” commented Steve Murphy, Director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service, author of the report. “We are also seeing direct industry partnerships expand as digital technology gains adoption, with a focus on broadening the use of card-based payment accounts for invoiced payments to replace paper processes.”

The document is 14 pages long and contains 4 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include:
ACOM, Amazon, American Express, AOC,, AvidXchange, Bancorp Bank, Boost Payment Solutions, Bora, Bottomline Technologies, Braintree, Chase Commerce Services, Citibank, Comdata, Coupa, Digital River, Discover, Elavon, First American Payments Systems, First Data, FIS, Fiserv, GE Capital, Ingenico, Invapay, iPayment, Mastercard, Mineral Tree, PAX, SAP Ariba, Square, Transferwise, TSYS, Vantiv, Verifone, Visa, Union Pay, U.S. Bank, Viewpost, WEX, Worldpay.

Highlights of the report include:

  • A detailed breakdown of the categories and service participants across the cards network spectrum
  • Value chain descriptions for both buyers and sellers
  • New entrants and methods for partnering as business models and technology converge
  • Network strategic movement towards collaboration to deliver broader payments solutions


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