Trends in Commercial Payment Methods

From digital wallets to checks, commercial payment methods are changing

Trends in Commercial Payment Methods

From Digital Wallets to Checks: Commercial Payment Methods are Changing

October 2022

Emerging payment tools, such as real-time payments and digital wallets, all show very strong levels of growth.

What the Data Say: Choosing Between Payment Channels
Are cryptocurrency payments more than a passing fad? Are paper checks on their last legs?
Find out the answer to these, and other pressing questions, in our exclusive report with Aite-Novarica.

Change in the payments industry is constant. While the popular assumption is that all payment methods are becoming smarter and more sophisticated, the adoption rates among these newer channels are more nuanced.


Legacy payment tools including checks and batch processed payments remain among the most widely used payment mechanisms by commercial organizations, in part because of how they are embedded in so many operations.


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to more modern channels. Offering a range of payment options will remain critical, with so many choices available. But emerging electronic payment tools, such as real-time payments and digital wallets, all show very strong levels of growth across all markets. Newer ones such as cryptocurrencies are likely to remain relatively niche, with slow adoption rates among organizations not currently using them and high levels of growth among ones that are.



This white paper is based on end-user data that provides an up-to-date look at how businesses pay and how this may change in the near future.

Key Takeaways

ACH, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), SEPA Credit Transfers and Bacs payments all remain critical payment mechanisms,

accounting for an average of nearly 30% of payment volumes among existing users in North American and European markets.

Emerging payment methods, including digital wallets and cryptocurrencies, have the highest levels of growth, but only among existing users.

Other high-growth digital payment methods include Zelle, where 75% of existing business users reported an increase, and Real-Time Payments (RTP), where 68% of current users grew their transaction volumes over the past year.

76% of North American businesses used checks to make a payment in the past year,

suggesting that checks remain one of the most widely used payment tools in the U.S. and Canada, despite emerging digital payment channels.

Immediate payments, in the form of SEPA Credit Transfer Instant (SCT-Inst) and Faster Payments, have a strong foothold in Europe and the U.K.

Some 67% of European firms report having made an immediate payment in the past 12 months. In contrast to this, only 46% of U.S. businesses surveyed report using RTP in the past 12 months. 

Adoption of cryptocurrencies is mixed.

Only 7% of European businesses and 10% of North American businesses not currently adopting cryptocurrency as a method of payment report they intend to use them in the next 12–24 months.

To learn more about BNY Mellon payments innovation, click here. 

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