THE DEMAND FOR BETTER B2B PAYMENTS

By Brandon Spear, CEO, TreviPay

 

Business-to-consumer (B2C) payments started adapting to digital processes when consumer shopping habits began shifting to e-commerce. And, while there have been some hurdles, the groundwork had already effectively been laid for the rapid shift to digital that happened over the last year. For some larger organizations, they just needed to polish the edges and accelerate the rollout of B2C payments technologies they had already been working to implement.

Business-to-business (B2B) payments have long lagged behind B2C, and although emerging technologies and shifting buying habits have also been pushing B2B payments strategies to evolve, it’s been a much slower and complicated transition. Many businesses have and continue to cling to paper-heavy, manual processes, but as businesses were forced to move to the digital marketplace last year, the recognized advantages of a modernized digital payments strategy sparked a renewed interest in closing the gap.

A new study[1] from Forrester Consulting commissioned by TreviPay reinforced this. The research analyzed how merchants from across the globe are evolving their payment offerings in the face of rising customer expectations and ongoing business and technological challenges.

Brandon Spear

According to the study conducted in April 2021, 95% of organizations report that they need to make improvements to their company’s payment capabilities to better serve their customers. This recognized need combined with the pandemic-induced acceleration of e-commerce have made digital payment capabilities essential and investments in payment technology a top priority for organizations amidst merchants’ digital transformation.

The study found that 93% of organizations have experienced challenges with their payment systems or technology. Lengthy billing processes are the number one payments system or technology challenge facing organizations, followed by inability to provide certain customer-requested payment methods and payment plans, like installments. These challenges were magnified by the pandemic and have resulted in very real and far-reaching consequences for many organizations, including lost sales opportunities and decreased customer satisfaction.

As organizations emerge from the chaos of the last year and look to the future, digitizing B2B cash flow to move money faster and more safely will be more crucial than ever. Looking at organizations’ priorities over the last two years, more than 60% of payments decision-makers cited increased scrutiny on security and fraud prevention, more digital payment options and more flexible terms as their most urgent customer concerns. Sixty percent of merchants reported increased payment speed and security as top concerns moving forward.

Payments capabilities are an essential part of digital transformation efforts for companies looking to better serve their customers. Whether it’s in response to negative customer feedback or as a result of the acceleration toward e-commerce brought on by the pandemic, more organizations than ever are seeing the benefits of having a modernized digital payment strategy. The prioritization of investment in finance applications, systems and processes signal a widespread improvement in B2B digital payments is on the horizon, which will provide better experiences for customers and ultimately streamline business operations and boost revenue.

 

[1] “Optimize Your Payment System to Seal the Deal” is a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of TreviPay in April 2021. The sample size included 200 global decision-makers of accounts receivable and payments strategy.

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