P-Card Acceptance Update

Navigator Editions: Commercial Payments: Special Edition Navigator, November/December 2013
By: Frank Martien

In the world of card acceptance, consumers experience nearly universal acceptance of cards to buy goods and services; however, such is not always the case when mid to large sized enterprises want to use a card to pay for non travel-related goods and services from their suppliers.

In 1Q 2013, First Annapolis Consulting and the NAPCP ( collaborated on a 2013 purchasing card acceptance survey to explore how the market has evolved since a first edition survey in 2009 and to refresh perspectives on suppliers’ acceptance of card payments from the end-user organization buyer’s point of view. In total, 103 survey responses were received and evaluated of which 101 respondents had P-Card or One Card programs and 41 respondents had ePayables (i.e., “ghost card” B2B payment) programs. Twenty-seven percent of respondents were “Fortune Ranking” with $2 billion or more in annual revenue or budget, 39% were Large Market ($500 million to $1.9 billion), 31% were Mid Market ($25 to 499 million), and 3% were Small (<$25 million).

In the U.S., average rates of supplier acceptance by category of spend have increased almost universally from 2009 to 2013 as shown in Figure 1. With the exception of shipping/parcel delivery, a 5% to 18% increase in rates of acceptance was observed. However, acceptance still varies by category of spend; and supplier resistance tends to increase as transaction size rises.
If one were to summarize the above spend verticals, buyers are experiencing about a two-thirds acceptance rate of cards from their suppliers.

Figure 1: P-Card/One Card Acceptance by B2B Suppliers by Spend Vertical


Question: Do suppliers in the following industries typically accept your P-Cards/One Cards?
Source: NAPCP supplier acceptance surveys of 2009 (n=146) and 2013 (n=101).

Across other geographic markets as depicted in Figure 2, average acceptance rates are significantly lower, with Canada estimated at 47%, Latin America at 42%, Europe at 38%, the Middle East at 26%, Africa at 17%, and AsiaPacific at 43%. Over time, many of these markets are expected to develop as multinational organizations continue to push their network and commercial card program providers to harmonize B2B payment solutions across markets.

Figure 2: P-Card/One Card Acceptance by B2B Suppliers by Geographic Market


Question: Within the following markets, approximately what percentage of your suppliers (those you target for P-Card/One Card payments) are “card acceptors”? If your organization does not target suppliers in a particular market, leave blank or select N/A. Average is calculated by taking the midpoint of the experienced supplier acceptance ranges multiplied by percentage of respondents in each range but excluding consideration of respondents that don’t target suppliers in a particular market. For example, the U.S. average of 68% is calculated as follows: (midpoint of first range of 87.5% x 47% + 62% x 19% + 37% x 12% + 12% x 7%) / (1 – 15%).
Source: 2013 NAPCP supplier acceptance survey (n=101).

In general, and likely true across geographic markets, a key finding from this survey is the importance of buyer education of their suppliers regarding the importance and benefits of card acceptance.

For more information, please contact Frank Martien, Partner specializing in Commercial Payments,

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