Chase Sees ‘Huge’ Opportunity in B2B, B2C Payments

canstockphoto17581154As checks go out of style in the consumer payments space, business-to-business and business-to-consumer payments still largely depend on the old checkbook.

At least this is the case at Chase, according to Douglas Petno, chief executive of commercial banking.

We estimate that our clients spend over $0.5 trillion on business to business payments. We estimated over half of the business-to-business transactions are still done by check. Sending a paper check can cost between $4 and $8 to simply send a check. And we also estimate that most of those transactions still have some degree of manual intervention, a human being that’s actually going to involve and touch the process.

Just like the consumer space, B2B and B2C payments offer a “huge” room for disruption, Petno said during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Banking and Financial Services Brokers Conference last week. “That feels like somewhere where technology can bring a big shift in efficiency, so the more we can digitize and put better controls around the payments process across the wholesale continuum, we think it’s going to bring real safety, protection, speed and value to our clients.”

In terms of digital, the commercial bank has had its largest-ever investment budget in 2016, and the amount is expected to increase in 2017, CEO said. The bank has already made its “marquee” investment: Chase Business Online. “We’re going to try to rebrand that, that [the brand name] is not really that exciting, but it is at the heart of where we are spending a lot of our time on digital,” Petno said.

Chase Business Online is still in the pilot stage with several business customers. The idea, Petno added, is to bring together “cash management tool, integrating commercial card, merchant services and lending, all through a digital mobile capability.”

Speaking of mobile capabilities, Chase debuted its mobile payment app or wallet, Chase Pay, today with two major brands: Starbucks and Best Buy. Chase customers can now try out Chase Pay at 7,500 Starbucks locations, and 1,400 Best Buy locations across the U.S. The bank plans to add other merchants, including Walmart and Shell, in the near future.

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