An inaugural global annual survey indicates how multinational corporations in various regions have digitalized their payment processes.

A Jan–Feb 2022 online survey of corporate digital payments trends – across 400 payment managers in large multinationals in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions – points to continual rapid adoption of digital corporate payments.

Corporate non-cash payments represented around 133 billion transactions in 2021, totaling 13% of all non-cash payments. In the survey, Account-to-Account (A2A) payment solutions were the respondents’ preferred choice for corporate payments processing—with more than 50% of both accounts payables and accounts receivables handled via A2A solutions globally, and 40% of corporate payments processed fully automatically.

Based on this data, the survey report predicts annual corporate non-cash payments to reach the 200bn transactions mark by 2025.

Key findings
The survey of payment managers and executives working with corporate payments across the Asia Pacific region included 34 in China, 34 in Singapore, 34 in Hong Kong and 35 in Australia. Key findings include:

  • Non-cash payments in the sample population showed a sharply increase worldwide and represented 923bn transactions globally in 2021
  • Corporate non-cash payments reached 133bn transactions, representing 13% of all non-cash payments
  • APAC was still under-represented for corporate payments, with 19% of volumes compared to 41% of all non-cash payments
  • 33% of respondents saw security as the most important benefit of A2A payments in APAC while 26% saw cost reduction as the second main benefit
  • 34% of respondents in in Singapore and Hong-Kong perceived costs to be the most-mentioned benefit
  • Respondents from APAC and China stood out with a significantly higher rate (0.3%) of not completing payments compared to respondents from the rest of the world
  • 38.4% of A2A payments in APAC were processed automatically, second to the top automation rate of 39.4% EMEA respondents
  • 42% of APAC corporates were already using virtual IBAN/Virtual Account Management or procure-to-pay solutions on top of their A2A payments
  • Europe was the most advanced region for A2A payments, which are already the standard way of exchanging value among corporations. While Canada closely mirrored European digital maturity levels, the USA respondents were lagging, with a large share of checks and non-digital payments still in use, even though the pandemic had significantly accelerated the shift towards digital payment solutions. North America and Europe together account for two-thirds of worldwide corporate non-cash payments volume
  • Asia respondents showed a very scattered landscape, with advanced payment markers (e.g., China, Singapore and Hong Kong), while cash and non-digital payments remained important in other countries in the region (e.g., Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia).
  • A2A payments were the norm in the Middle East where payment infrastructures are efficient.

According to Andrew Burlison, Head of Payments, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, one of the firms responsible for the inaugural survey: “Payment operations leaders are increasingly taking more strategic seats at their organizations. They are transitioning their departments from being cost centers to becoming key creators of customer value. They are achieving this by adopting payment automation technology.”

Thierry Morin, Director, Payments & Financial Services, Capgemini Invent, noted: “While corporations have historically been searching primarily for simplicity and cost efficiency, they are now looking at more advanced and valued-added payment solutions, fostered by the rapid development of new technologies and the necessity to go fully digital during the pandemic.”