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Considerations for merchants looking to embrace faster, smarter B2B payments

B2B payments are continuing to evolve rapidly as merchants look to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Considerations for merchants looking to embrace smarter B2B payments

Today’s B2B businesses are recognising the pressing need to develop a future-ready and resilient payments strategy.

That includes considering the integral role of embedded payments in the future of B2B payments and determining the steps forward for integration – writes Brandon Spear, CEO, Trevipay.

B2C embedded payments have become the norm since the early days of Uber. While Uber’s ride-hailing-as-a-service model garnered its fair share of attention, the frictionless payments experience the company provides to customers is even more ground-breaking.

It’s important to remember that everyday consumers, like those who use Uber, can also be B2B buyers. So, it’s not surprising that B2B buyer expectations have also grown, and in a short period of time.

“Three years of consumer behaviour change was squeezed into one year in 2020,” wrote Forrester Principal Analyst Jay McBain.

“Consumers are now demanding online experiences, happily virtual, wanting seamless digital procurement and provisioning, and wanting everything at the click of a button. The delta between B2C buyers and B2B buyers has collapsed during the pandemic. It’s all about speed, convenience, and remote, whether the buyer is acquiring a Peloton or a software product.”

The digital-first consumer is here to stay – meaning it’s only a matter of time before all customers across the B2B space will expect a seamless, invisible payments experience.

Embedded payments can enable that invisibility and help B2B companies attract and retain customers, but it’s important to work with a partner who can help get it right. Here are some things to consider when it comes to integrating an embedded payments solution:

Meeting the digital-first needs of B2B customers is more complicated than meeting the needs of traditional consumers

B2B transactions tend to be more complex than traditional B2C transactions. For the most part, B2C transactions take place between a single stakeholder using a single payment method, such as a debit or credit card.

A B2B transaction can involve multiple stakeholders, such as the purchaser, the budget owner, the procurement group, the accounts payable team, as well as many different payment options, like trade credit, purchasing cards, and credit cards, among others.

When considering embedded payments, it’s important to make sure that the solution can meet the unique needs of every stakeholder in the process. Smart B2B embedded payments should help the merchant improve cashflow by allowing buyers to receive invoices daily, weekly, or monthly and make payments on terms that they control.

It’s also critical to allow for ways to add data, like PO numbers, to invoices and support integrations into Procure-to-Pay and Enterprise Resource Planning platforms. While embedded payments require a significant amount of behind-the-scenes orchestration, the speed and ease in which transactions take place can be transformational.

Embedded payments should benefit all stakeholders, including the A/R team

With the right support and back-office innovation, A/R teams can be fully equipped for the future of payments. That’s because a key part of the embedded payment evolution for B2B merchants is extending a completely digital and automated onboarding experience to the A/R team.

Research shows that the majority (63%) of salespeople’s time is focused on activities other than selling — meaning only 37% of a sales team’s time is bringing in new business. Merchants can save time and money through this automation by eliminating the need to email forms, wait days for credit decisions, and perform manual bank reconciliations.

Leveraging instant decisioning and credit builds loyalty over competition

Embedded payments should make a merchant easier to do business with by letting the buyer interact, and transact, on their preferred terms. For example, business customers prefer to purchase using trade credit and spend more and more frequently with a business when they have a dedicated financial relationship and credit line.

Customers can easily purchase more stock when they need it, and businesses know that buyers will come back. It’s important that the credit issuance experience is quick and instantaneous though. In the move to digital-first interactions, instant decisioning is critical to the sales process and can be a make it or break it feature in the sales process.

The right partner can help protect against business identity theft and fraud

Business identity theft and other forms of digital fraud are on the rise because nearly everything is happening online. Merchants who are growing need to be especially cautious to manage the risk associated with invoice fraud as they find themselves with more vendors to pay and invoices to process.

When implementing an embedded payments strategy, finding a partner with a strong track record of risk decisioning and fraud detection is critical.

B2B merchants must stay abreast of consumer trends to remain relevant. B2B customers are also consumers after all, and they now have the same expectations for seamless, invisible payments in their B2B purchasing that they have come to expect in B2C transacting.

B2B merchants who want to build their brands and stand out from the competition must ensure they consider the payments process as part of the overall consumer experience.


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