One of the best ways to get your invoices paid on time is to offer many ways for your clients to pay. Innovative payment technology is available and can help reduce staff, time or other resources needed to track down payments. Inspired by the B2C market, corporate payment technologies are leaning toward self-service, but also looking for ways to reduce the chances of payment fraud. Your accounts receivable department will thank you for making their jobs easier, including reducing the time spent waiting for checks to arrive.
Here are current B2B payment trends and what to expect in the future.
Virtual Credit Cards
Even though businesses are moving away from checks and using more electronic payments, check payments are still used by the majority of businesses making payments. Credit card payments are on the rise and may be made even more accessible through the use of virtual credit cards. With a virtual card, accounts payable issues a single-use credit card number that can be used for payment of a specified amount to a particular business. For paying invoices, your accounts receivable department handles virtual card payments like credit card payments. The likelihood of payment fraud is reduced because if the card number is stolen, it cannot be charged for a different amount or charged for a different business.
One of the reasons invoices aren't paid on time is because they get lost. A self-service portal is a convenient and efficient way to reduce lost invoices and streamline corporate payments. Available anywhere there's access to the web - including mobile - clients can visit the portal, view their invoices and pay immediately. There are many options available on the market to create your own branded ecommerce portal, including allowing clients to order from your online marketplace, access their invoice immediately and pay. Many of the portals will also sync to your accounting system, such as Quickbooks, so that duplication of efforts is reduced.
Inspired by B2C payment options Android Pay and Apple Pay, some banks and credit card companies are now considering mobile wallet or app options for corporate payments. Reducing the need of a physical credit card, adding convenience and security, mobile wallet usage is on the rise in the consumer market. Businesses that partner with or sell to other businesses may soon be offering something similar to meet the expectations of the commercial market. Mastercard, for instance, launched its own B2B mobile payment app in 2016. With banks itching to dive into a market that's already thriving, expect to see more of this soon.
With the consumer market making it easier for customers to pay, expect similar trends in corporate payments expect to happen. From invoicing to inputting paper checks in accounting systems, the B2B payment market has been lagging behind for some time. Businesses rely on secure and on-time payments to effectively stay afloat. Expect to see more automation, from the sale to the payment, to help secure a regular and trustworthy cash flow for forward-thinking companies.