B2B, Easy as B2C
These days, it’s a snap to pay and get paid. Consumers have the ultimate level of convenience and speed—thanks to mobile payments and digital transactions. Owe someone $50? Reimburse them in just a few taps. Being sent an electronic payment of $50? It’s already in your bank account.
Businesses don’t enjoy that same level of efficiency and convenience. All monetary transactions—coming or going—must be approved, monitored, and reconciled. The result is a much more complicated process. But B2B payments don’t have to languish in a world of inconvenience. In fact, here are three ways to bring the B2C experience to the world of B2B.
1. Click, not cash.
If you want to bring your B2B payment experience up to speed with the consumer experience, the first step is to ditch paper payments.
Consider the consumer experience for paying your mortgage. Do you write out a check and mail it? Or do you log in to a secure website, click an amount, and authorize an ACH transfer?
Digital payments thrive in personal transactions. Whether you’re paying bills, getting money from a friend, or buying groceries, electronic payments remain leading contenders.
Why? Because they’re easy.
The B2B world, however, still relies on paper to pay and get paid. In fact, roughly half of B2B payments consist of paper checks.
But why would a business owner use electronic transactions for their personal life yet still insist on paper payments for their company?
Answer: they wouldn’t. And these are the reasons why:
- Checks take too long. The whole lifecycle eats up precious time that employees could dedicate back to the business.
- Checks aren’t convenient. If you’re sending one, you have the hassle of printing, tracking down a signer, stuffing, and mailing it. If you’re receiving one, the payment is probably 30 days or more after sending the invoice.
- Paper payments aren’t secure. Cash is easy to steal, and all a thief needs to defraud your company is your banking account and routing number.
In comparison, B2B digital payments are easy, quick, and secure. You can review relevant contracts and payment history online. Best of all, you can authorize payment in just a few clicks.
That beats a paper check any day.
2. Let the tech do the heavy lifting.
Consumers can set up automated payments for everything from apps to gym memberships. And they can have those payments occur in any way they like—whenever they want.
Has your business explored this level of automation?
Many businesses struggle with the processes of paying and getting paid. The paper shuffle offers limited transparency into progress and is vastly inefficient. BUT when you move to digital payments, accounting automation takes over those manual processes and tracks every single activity that occurs in the system.
With automation, every activity in a payment cycle has been automatically tracked and is auditable. If a vendor calls regarding payment, you can log in to the system and see immediately where that bill is in the review process.
Now, consider this: accounting automation for AR. The system can create and send invoices automatically. Customers can also use it to set up recurring payments. Instead of waiting days or months to get paid, those payments will hit your company’s bank account immediately on a specific date. As one accountant described it: “That’s cash flow gold.”
3. App it up.
“Don’t worry, I’ll Venmo you.”
Apps make financial transactions infinitely easier—shouldn’t it be that convenient for businesses to pay?
Well, it can be.
Mobile apps and cloud-enabled access to business payment systems allow consumers to review and release payment in just a few clicks. It’s the same process for B2B bill payment, with the addition of workflows and permissions-based access.
Ready to embrace the B2C experience for B2B?