Nilson Report

Issue 1148 | Feb 2019


Companies featured in this issue include:

Top Issuers of U.S. General Purpose Credit Cards 2018

Market Shares of Purchase Volume for Top Credit Card Issuers 2008-2018

Shares of Outstandings for U.S. Credit Card Issuers 2018

Top U.S. Credit Card Issuers: Outstandings, Volume, Transactions, Cards

50 Largest Visa & Mastercard Issuers in the U.S. – Ranked by Outstandings

Investments in Merchant Acquiring/Processing in 2018

Top U.S. Credit Card Issuers: Outstandings 2018

Outstanding credit card receivables tied to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards reached $973.38 billion at December 31, 2018, up 5.4% over 2017. The five largest issuers ranked by outstandings are shown here.

1. Chase
$156.63 (bil.)
2. American Express
$111.37 (bil.)
3. Citibank
$110.69 (bil.)
4. Bank of America
$109.46 (bil.)
5. Capital One
$100.21 (bil.)

Full access to the Top U.S. Credit Card Issuers: Outstandings, Volume, Transactions, Cards 2018 results is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.



Amex and Offer Vendor Pay

Business-to-business (B2B) payments are the biggest opportunity in domestic and cross-border payments for card issuers, accounts payable (AP) & accounts receivable (AR) invoice software providers, payment processors, network operators, and supply chain finance (working capital) companies. American Express has initiated several efforts over the last 18 months to expand card payments tied to AR & AP automation, including partnerships with Wex, MineralTree, and Cvent. Its latest effort is Vendor Pay by, a partnership with, provider of a payment management platform for small and midsized businesses. 

American Express has integrated with to give its corporate and small business card customers in the U.S. the opportunity to move some of their B2B payments to their cards—if the recipient of a payment is on the Amex merchant acceptance network. Amex is the first card issuer and network operator to integrate with to support card payments. American Express’s corporate venture capital unit, Amex Ventures, is a long-time investor in 

Vendor Pay offers Amex cardholders automated accounts payable processing after they enroll their existing corporate and small business cards. Businesses earn rewards for their card spending and improve their cash flow. Vendor Pay will be aimed at those businesses that make fewer than 100 payments per month. Amex cardholders also receive the option to use Vendor Pay to make payments by paper check and electronically through the ACH. delivers an end-to-end payment service. Small businesses receive online access to data including bills and other documents that they use for approvals and payment decisions. integrates with accounting software for automatic reconciliation, provides an easy-to-access navigation bar, and a view of the real-time status of payments. Card payments to vendors are secured through single-use virtual card numbers connected to existing Amex accounts. 

Vendor Pay, which was tested in the second half of 2018, covers smaller businesses among Amex’s customer base. These companies have higher unit costs when making check and ACH payments because typically they lack an in-house automated system and a dedicated employee to make payments. facilitated more than $60 billion in B2B payments from small and midsized businesses last year. The company has more than 400 employees. In July 2018, it announced international payment processing had been added to the Connect platform, giving U.S. merchants the opportunity to pay vendors in more than 40 countries through a partnership with Fleetcor’s Cambridge Global Payments subsidiary. This month, dropped all wire transfer fees for international payments and upgraded its platform to track all cross-border transactions in U.S. dollars.

Rajeev Subramanyam is VP, B2B Automation and Networks, Global Commercial Services at American Express in New York,,

Rene Lacerte is CEO at in Palo Alto, California,,

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