Skip to main content Skip to footer

Research Report

Reinventing commercial payments for profitable growth


In brief

  • The commercial payments market is projected to reach $1.26 trillion in revenue by 2028.

  • 55% of banks today are challenged by competitive solutions from fintechs; 72% say it’s hard to compete in key areas.

  • Most banks right now underestimate the importance of value-added services to customers and under-invest in the tech needed to deliver them.

    The playing field for the future of commercial payments isn't level

    Commercial payments innovation has generally failed to keep up with the consumer sector. Accenture research details the competitive vulnerabilities this is creating at a time when consumer expectations are shifting. The research combines input from banks and payments providers — as well as their clients — to detail the building blocks of future growth.

    It’s no surprise to see fintechs have been able to divide and conquer in commercial payments by offering new services at a speed and price that banks haven't been able to match. With the market projected to reach $1.26 trillion in revenue by 2028, 55% of banks today are challenged by competitive solutions from fintechs and 72% say it’s hard to compete in key areas like merchant acquiring services, payments cards and cash management.

    The value-added blind spot could put $371 billion at risk

    Our research shows that banks have a strong understanding of commercial client priorities — with one crucial exception: Clients want value-added payments services. It’s their second-greatest pain point. But banks see it as much less urgent.

    Puzzle-style chart comparing the most important attributes of payments services for commercial clients versus the biggest pain points related to current payments providers.
    Puzzle-style chart comparing the most important attributes of payments services for commercial clients versus the biggest pain points related to current payments providers.

    Value-added services enhance a commercial payments customer’s business. They include advanced fraud management tools, real-time data dashboards for cash and industry-tailored data insights, among others. And they are in demand. We found that commercial payments customers, on average, are willing to pay 8.1% of their annual payments costs to gain these value-added services. This could add up to a revenue injection of $371 billion for the industry. On the other hand, failure to respond could result in their losing clients: 33% would consider working with a different payments provider if it offered value-added services at no additional cost.

    Addressing this blind spot would be a powerful way for commercial payments providers to build scale, boost customer satisfaction and retain clients. But offering the right value-added services is not like flipping a switch for an incumbent. Our analysis found that slow development of new payments solutions due to legacy tech is the single biggest commercial payments challenge facing banks. Fintechs, by definition, don't share this burden.

    The key to leveling the playing field is a fully modern digital core — a powerful set of technologies that harnesses the full potential of cloud, data and AI to rapidly create new products, among other things. 

    Few today are investing in those technologies. We found that only 42% of banks are investing to a high degree in the cloud for commercial payments, for example. For data technology and analytics, the figure shrinks to 33%. Reversing this trend is a crucial step for clawing back the share of wallet incumbents have been losing to fintechs.

    Looking beyond the traditional approach to commercial payments

    The right place for banks to start is to envision what commercial payments will look like in five or 10 years’ time, decide the role they intend to play in that future and scope the capabilities they'll need.

    A successful strategy will be based on three pillars:

    Core modernization

    Enhance current products, reduce time-to-market with innovative offerings and prepare for new standards such as real-time payments and ISO 20022.

    Ecosystem partnerships

    Partner with commercial clients to create payments solutions that retain existing clients and create new revenue streams.


    Provide value-added, frictionless, integrated, transparent and industry-tailored services that leverage technologies such as APIs and gen AI.

    Commercial payments is a highly disrupted sector, but the flipside of disruption is opportunity. Banks right now have both the means and the incentive to look beyond their traditional approach. Those that find the right strategy to match the opportunity can expect to not only drive growth and competitive advantage but also make their mark on the commercial payments landscape.

    Take a look at our report — and reach out to any of our authors for more information.

    Frequently asked questions

    Our Reinventing Commercial Payments Study examines investments, challenges and priorities across these commercial payments service areas: bank accounts and cash management (includes transaction accounts, international payments, liquidity management, payables and receivables), card issuing, trade finance and merchant acceptance.

    A digital core in payments comprises a powerful set of secure technologies that seamlessly harnesses the full potential of cloud, data and AI to help drive growth, optimize operations, bolster resilience and fuel competitive advantage for a payments business.

    Structured trade finance, documentary trade finance and liquidity management are areas where clients are most challenged. Retailers and public sector entities cited domestic B2B transfers and cross-border payments as their greatest challenge, while for telecoms and public service clients it’s online merchant acceptance.

    Value-added services are offerings wrapped around basic payments products that enrich the payments experience and ensure customer intimacy for commercial payments clients.

    Some 60% of commercial payments clients said they would be highly likely to purchase each of the following value-added services: value-added tax system integration, real-time access to payments data insights, bill payments, data dashboards and real-time payments.


    Sulabh Agarwal

    Managing Director – Management Consulting

    Kim Kacal

    Managing Director – Payments Lead, North America

    Edlayne Burr

    Managing Director – Payments Lead, Growth Markets

    Ryan McQueen

    Managing Director – Payments Lead, Australia & New Zealand