American Express beefs up B2B payments suite with Nipendo acquisition

The news: American Express agreed to acquire Israel-based B2B payments automation firm Nipendo for an undisclosed amount, per a press release.

Nipendo integrates with businesses’ existing payment infrastructure and specializes in B2B activities like accounts payable (AP), invoice automation, supplier relationship management, and supplier onboarding.

Why it’s worth watching: Despite being a multitrillion-dollar industry, the B2B payments sector still relies on manual processes that can lead to pain points like invoice errors, late payments, and inaccurate cash-flow visibility.

  • US B2B transaction volume is expected to hit $31.260 trillion this year—up from $30.700 trillion in 2022, per Insider Intelligence forecasts. About 38% of those B2B payments this year will use cash or checks, which can be time-consuming and expensive to reconcile.
  • That’s why streamlining the AP/AR processes is so important. Automating processes like invoice creation and purchase order review—which Nipendo’s software does—can help businesses avoid time-consuming manual tasks and minimize errors.

The opportunity: The B2B payments space is ripe for disruption, and Nipendo’s technology can help Amex tap this opportunity and improve its value proposition to businesses.

  • Fifty-two percent of companies automated at least part of their AP process in 2022, according to a 2022 Pinnacle Financial Partners report. There’s still a lot of room for automation growth, which Amex can take advantage of to gain new business and broaden its reach.
  • As more businesses prioritize being efficient, keeping costs low, and switching to digital payments, they’ll likely embrace software solutions like Nipendo’s. Integrating Nipendo’s tech into its product suite can help Amex compete with fintechs and other banks that are vying for a slice of the B2B payments market.

The bigger picture: Amex’s latest acquisition highlights the firm’s growing push into B2B payments.

  • The bank teamed up with AR providers Billtrust and Versapay last spring to help suppliers accept payments with Amex’s virtual cards.
  • It rolled out American Express Global Pay last August so businesses can make domestic and cross-border B2B payments directly from the Amex app.
  • The bank also introduced Amex Business Link last month, a payments ecosystem that lets B2B suppliers accept card and noncard payments from buyers—even internationally.

Related content: Check out our “Accounts Payable and Receivable Automation” spotlight report to learn more about how automation helps streamline B2B payments.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Payments Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the payments industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.