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US B2B payments declined in 2020, but the pandemic spurred businesses to try different payment options

The forecast: US B2B payments declined slightly faster than expected in 2020 at -7.1% as opposed to -4.9% for an actual sales value of $25.539 trillion in 2020. By year end 2021, those sales will grow by 7.8% for an overall sales value of $27.542 trillion.

Dive deeper:

  • US businesses opted for more digital options of payment completion in 2020.
  • Check and cash is still the most popular option of B2B payments with a share of 50.0% in 2019. That said, in 2020 its transaction value declined by 16.4%, reducing its share to 45.0%.
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments are the second most popular B2B payment option with a share of 39.2% in 2020, reaching above $10 trillion for the first time.
  • Card payments took a hit in 2020 with a decline of approximately 5%, which lead to a payment value of $1.434 trillion. We expect this payment type will rebound in 2021 and end up taking a 6.0% share of overall B2B payments.
  • Wire transfers and other payments took up just over a 10% share in 2020 and are expected to stay around that mark in the coming years.

Looking ahead: B2B payments will continue to rise after the hit they took in 2020. In 2022 B2B payments will total $28.611 trillion.