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B2B cross-border transaction value to exceed $42,7tn in 2026

The transaction value of B2B cross-border payments of all payment types will exceed $42,7tn in 2026, from $34tn in 2021, according to a report from Juniper Research.
Source: Getty
Source: Getty

The new research, B2B Payments: Key Opportunities, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, identified that this growth of over 25% is being driven by the increased popularity of e-commerce marketplaces, which are generally cross-border in nature.

The research identified that the B2B cross-border payments market is highly fragmented, with payments being slow, expensive and difficult to track. As cross-border e-commerce accelerates, B2B payments need to keep pace with use of automation, instant payment rails and solutions like virtual IBANs, which enable acceptance of local payment options, critical to future success.

Blockchain has potential, but needs development

The new research found that blockchain has an important role in B2B cross-border payments, with services such as Visa B2B Connect and RippleNet having significant potential.

However, the report identified that blockchain is not essential to this process – a network of networks can be built without using blockchain, meaning blockchain vendors must emphasise unique abilities, such as traceability and immutability, to make it more appealing for B2B payments than the alternatives.

Research author Nick Maynard explained: "Blockchain is not a silver bullet for cross-border payments challenges, but it has a significant role to play. For networks, building connections is critical to ensuring the best possible reach and appeal in the increasingly globalised B2B payments market."

Dominance of wire transfers

The research found that by 2026, 80% of the overall transaction value of B2B cross-border payments will be via wire transfers; an increase from 70% in 2021. Instant payments will account for a relatively low proportion of B2B wire transfers, at 22% of these by value in 2026.

The research recommends that until cross-border instant payments are ubiquitous, payment vendors must cover gaps by ensuring that alternative and easy to manage methods, such as virtual cards, are available to businesses.

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