B2B Payments Should Emulate the Customer Payments Experience

Business-to-business (B2B) buyers get just as frustrated about the purchasing experience as consumer-to-business buyers do. In the end, everyone just wants a seamless journey before, during, and after the payment has been made.

A new study by TreviPay, a global B2B payments and invoicing network, revealed that B2B buyers seek the trifecta when it comes to the perfect customer experience: choice, convenience, and customization.

Key Payment Preferences

In its findings, 72% of B2B buyers said they’re loyal to businesses that offer their preferred payment method.

When it comes to making larger purchases, trade credit or invoice terms is their preferred payment method. Interestingly, 85% of respondents said they would buy more if given this option, and that’s because of the transaction limits associated with using credit cards.

B2B buyers also want merchants to move beyond manual processes and instead integrate with an enterprise resource planning. Some 80% of respondents said that it was at least “very important” that merchants offer this.

Finally, 78% of B2B buyers expressed their desire to customize the purchasing experience, including setting up spending limits, limiting purchases to preapproved SKUs, or including required PO numbers.

“As is often the case, consumer experiences set the tone for what happens in the B2B world,” said Albert Bodine, Director of Commercial and Enterprise Payments at Javelin Strategy & Research. “Enterprises are starting to demand consumer-like payments experiences that are frictionless, expeditious and error-free. And they want to be able to execute payments without the intervention of the legacy banking system.”

“More and more we will see open banking strategies that embed financial tools into platforms more focused on user interface and user experience than they are on ledgers and accounting,” he said. “Stay tuned as well as instant payments start to gain momentum and payments, even very large payments, start to be transacted from the palms of people’s hands.”

On the Road to B2B Payments Modernization

As consumer payment modernization continues to mature and adoption of faster payments increases, B2B payments modernization is still in its infancy. Many businesses within the B2B space are still using paper checks and invoices, making the transition out of these legacy systems more difficult.

But the tides are changing, an RPMG survey reported last year that more than 90% of suppliers preferred digital payments and invoice information instead of traditional paper checks.

By adopting a more digital B2B payments ecosystem, businesses have a more comprehensive view on their funds movement. And within this new framework, businesses will be better equipped to mitigate payment fraud.

The demand for faster payments and the increased costs of manual processing will inevitably drive more businesses to modernize their current B2B payments infrastructure in time.