Corporates Turning to Commercial Cards, Citi Survey Finds

Corporates in the Asia Pacific region are increasingly mandating the use of commercial cards for all eligible purchases as they migrate from more traditional payment tools, Citi’s Asia Pacific Commercial Cards Survey 2018 has found.

Findings from the survey show that corporates are expanding commercial card programmes to alternative flows including meetings and events, and procurement, for increased visibility of flows, centralised controls and governance, heightened efficiencies and improvements in operational strategies.

The study, the first by Citi with a focus on corporate clients in Asia Pacific, found that clients in the region had increased their commercial card spend by over 24% in 2017. Business-to-business (B2B) spend followed suit, increasing by close to 50% over the same period.

The expansion of commercial cards usage in the region has continued through to 2018. Commercial card spend for Citi’s top ten commercial cards clients increased by 23% from January to April 2018, compared with same period last year. Already, 76% of clients polled have mandated the use of corporate cards for travel expenses. The survey also found that of the 36% of corporate clients without a procurement card or virtual card account programme, over half are now planning to adopt commercial cards to replace automated clearing house (ACH) transactions, cheques and other payment methods.