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Global Commercial Card Expenditure on the Cusp of US$ 4 Trillion for the First Time


Global Commercial Card Expenditure on the Cusp of US$ 4 Trillion for the First Time

2022 saw global commercial card spending grow by 17% to reach US$ 3.7 trillion, with corporate travel and entertainment (T&E) cards seeing the highest growth amongst commercial segments

Global commercial card spend soars to 34% above pre-pandemic levels

Small business and business-to-business (B2B) card spending had already surpassed pre-pandemic levels by 2021, according to Global Commercial Cards, a new study from RBR Data Services, a division of Datos Insights.

Despite seeing the highest relative growth in 2022, spending on corporate T&E cards has seen a slower recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic, having been heavily impacted by travel restrictions and lockdowns.

B2B cards promoted in Asia-Pacific to offset falling corporate T&E spend

Issuers in various Asia-Pacific markets have been focusing on promoting B2B cards to compensate for the fall in corporate travel and entertainment spending since the onset of the pandemic, particularly where stricter travel restrictions remained in place into 2022.

Other regions saw high growth in corporate T&E spending in 2022, as COVID‑19 restrictions were widely lifted. That year, corporate T&E spending in the Americas surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the first time, with a sharp 59% rise in the USA reflecting a strong return to domestic and overseas business travel alike.

Issuers outside China focus on SMB-specific products to boost commercial card issuance

Global Commercial Cards shows that when excluding China, global small business spending rose by 14% in 2022. Commercial card uptake was supported by both fintechs and banks, which have been seeking to make it easier and more cost-effective for small businesses (many of which previously used consumer cards) to open business accounts.

RBR Data Services’ research highlights that Asia-Pacific’s largest market, China, saw a decline in small business and commercial spending overall in 2022, impacted by the country’s continued lockdowns and restrictions on travel during the year. Consequently, global SMB growth was constrained, reaching 12% growth in 2022.

Widening supplier acceptance and increasing business demand propels B2B growth globally

B2B volume grew by 21% in 2022. Spending in the USA, which represented over three quarters of global B2B product spend, was boosted by the continuing digitisation of payments and virtual card issuance.

This trend is reflected globally with ongoing development of the B2B space, as issuers and business interest in the segment increasingly push B2B card product issuance.

Thomas Madden, who led the research for RBR Data Services, commented: “Suppliers across the board are increasingly willing to accept charges for commercial card acceptance, owing to the value of earlier payments and improved cash flow. This is especially the case given the climate of economic uncertainty created by the pandemic, which has been further compounded by global production disruption following the war in Ukraine from February 2022.”


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].

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