B2B businesses understand the importance of developing payment strategies that can stand the test of time. As customers’ digital needs and expectations grow, these strategies should include a plan on how to incorporate embedded payments, which B2B businesses can learn from popular B2C use cases. For example, Uber introduced and normalized embedded payments where the consumer can have a car arrive at their exact location, be taken to their destination and pay for that ride at the touch of one button. This B2C transaction ease is what B2B customers are more commonly expecting from their retailers.
As the delta between B2C buyers and B2B buyers has collapsed during the pandemic, merchants must look to offer fast, convenient and seamless digital procurement and provisioning. Digitization is what consumers expect and it’s only a matter of time before all B2B buyers expect a one-click payment solution as well. 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 the top three considerations for merchants looking to embrace faster, smarter B2B transactions with an embedded payments solution:
1. B2C and B2B customers have different payments needs.
In comparison to B2C transactions, B2B transactions are usually more complex. Traditional payment methods, such as debit or credit cards, are used in B2C transactions between a single stakeholder and the merchant. On the other hand, B2B transactions 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. When considering embedded payments, it’s important to make sure that the solution can meet the unique needs of all parties involved 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 is transformational for the consumer.
2. Embedded payments help build experience loyalty.
Embedded payments make a merchant easier to do business with by letting the buyer interact, and transact, on their preferred terms. This builds experience loyalty over time between the buyer and merchant, as the transaction is more seamless. Business customers prefer to purchase using trade credit and spend at a higher rate and frequently with a business when they have a dedicated financial relationship and credit line. It’s important that the credit issuance experience is quick and instantaneous. In the move to digitization, instant decisioning is a key component and can be a determining factor for success in the sales process.
3. Protect yourself against business identity theft and fraud.
Having transactions take place entirely online has increased the risk of business identity theft and other forms of digital fraud. Merchants who are in a growth phase need to be especially cautious to manage the risk associated with invoice fraud when dealing with multiple vendors. A partner with a strong track record of risk decisioning and fraud detection is critical step in implementing an embedded payment strategy. Recent research found that 98% of B2B retailers, manufacturers and marketplaces have been victims of fraud or have missed opportunities to do business with firms that were later revealed to be legitimate. As a result, these businesses have lost 3.5% of their annual sales revenues on average.
It is critical for B2B merchants to stay on top of consumer trends to remain competitive in today’s age. B2B customers now have the same expectations for seamless, invisible payments in their B2B purchasing that they have come to expect in their B2C transactions. An embedded payments process should be on the list of considerations for any B2B merchant that is looking to expand and build their brand or else they may be overlooked by the competition.