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B2B cross-border payment transaction values to exceed $42trn in 2026, as ecommerce marketplace growth stimulates trade

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The transaction value of B2B cross-border payments of all payment types will exceed $42.7trn in 2026, up from $34trn in 2021.

Research from Juniper Research identifies that this growth of more than 25% is being driven by the increased popularity of eCommerce 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 eCommerce 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 development required

The new research, B2B Payments: Key Opportunities, Vendor Strategies & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, found 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 explains: “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.”

The research also 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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