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Fintechs and neobanks help drive growth in the commercial cards market


Fintechs and neobanks help drive growth in the commercial cards market

Mastercard and American Express make inroads into Visa’s strong leadership position in the rapidly expanding global commercial cards sector

Strong growth across all commercial card segments

According to the Global Commercial Cards study by RBR Data Services, a division of Datos Insights, the commercial cards market continued to expand across the SMB, T&E and B2B sectors in 2022, with both banks and fintechs driving substantial growth of 17%.

Visa continues to make up the largest share of global commercial card purchase volume, accounting for 39% of overall spend worldwide. Mastercard and American Express gained one percentage point of share each, representing 28% and 17% respectively in 2022, while UnionPay lost around one percentage point.

American Express’ share bolstered with return to business travel

As American Express-branded commercial cards are commonly used for travel-related purchases, the network saw a significant boost from the post-pandemic recovery of the T&E segment.

Visa and Mastercard also benefited from the revival of business travel, while domestic networks were negatively impacted. In France, for example, the domestic network Cartes Bancaires lost considerable share of the T&E sector to international networks.

UnionPay also failed to benefit from the return to business trips, as almost all the network’s volume is attributed to its home market China, where a lockdown strategy was still in place in 2022.

Fintech commercial card products give boost to Visa and Mastercard

The presence of fintechs, challenger banks and neobanks in the commercial cards space is growing. Their products often come in the form of virtual cards with app-based features, both of which are increasingly in demand. They also appeal to small businesses which are not always able to pass traditional bank checks.

Clara and Jeeves, for example, issue Mastercard-branded physical and virtual credit cards in several larger Latin American markets, while Monzo Bank, Starling Bank and Revolut have Mastercard portfolios in the UK.

Fuel cards increasingly shift to international networks

International networks have also gained share because fuel cards are increasingly becoming open-loop or being launched by retailers in partnership with international networks, meaning cardholders are no longer restricted to certain fuel retailers. As a result, private label products saw their share of the B2B segment fall for the second year in a row.

Thomas Madden, who led RBR’s Global Commercial Cards study, commented: “While commercial card launches by fintechs will continue to drive Visa and Mastercard’s growth, it remains to be seen whether American Express’s share will continue to benefit from business travel, as virtual meetings and conferences are becoming increasingly common.”


Notes to editors

About RBR Data Services

RBR Data Services provides clients with independent and reliable data and insights through published research, consulting and bespoke data services. Our global research covers the cards and payments, retail technology and banking automation sectors and is used by the leading market participants, analysts and regulators as the authoritative source of industry and competitor benchmark data. For any questions about this release, please contact [email protected].

About Datos Insights

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