A Business-to-Business (B2B) payment is any financial transaction that occurs between two organizations or companies, not transactions involving an individual.
What do modern B2B payment platforms include?
As a general rule, B2B transactions involve more complex terms and conditions than a simple upfront payment (bank transfer, online card, or cash), with most B2B transactions involving some kind of credit extension requiring payment in 30, 60, or 90 days either before or after delivery of goods or services, depending on the type of contract. And since these unrealized payments flow both in and out of your organization, accurately accounting for these exchanges in your company's financial statements requires additional effort and usually requires the involvement of dedicated staff and specialized software.
An effective B2B payment platform will not be just one application, but a set of tools and software that can perform various financial transactions related to payments, such as Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, or the management of the specified accounts.
Advanced software solutions can efficiently manage both the receipt, verification and payment of incoming invoices, as well as the sending of automatic E-mail payment reminders to your customers.
The most important component of a modern payment platform is integration and centralization. If your various applications can easily communicate not only with each other, but also with the platforms of your merchants, suppliers and customers, you will be in a much better position to manage the overall financial health of your company.
Here are the B2B payment processing features to look out for when choosing the best B2B payment platform for your business.
8 features to look out for when looking for B2B payment solutions
1. Various B2B payment methods
The companies you buy from and sell to will have different requirements and expectations for how they exchange funds with your business, from bank transfers to online credit card payments and instant payments and so on. An efficient platform will offer you the ability to host a wide range of B2B payment types, including but not limited to:
- Bank transfers (or Wire Transfer)
- Payment by bank cards online
- Virtual cards
- Fintech platforms (e.g., PayPal, Skrill, Square)
- Paper checks (for example in the USA)
- Cash payment
- Instant payments (англ. Instant payment), in Moldova in the future
Depending on the scale and future direction of your business, you may also want to check if the software of your choice supports international transactions and currency conversion.
2. Automated B2B workflows
By automating your receivables and payables collection processes, your business can avoid unnecessary workflow delays and keep payments on track even when your employees are away from the office. Automation also helps reduce the chance of fraud or unintentional errors that can disrupt your financial transactions and cost your business money.
In addition, depending on the capabilities of the platform, you can reduce your overall paper usage by collecting relevant data through software integration or by scanning incoming documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.
3. B2B reporting features
Audits are a must. Whether you're following government or industry reporting standards, or just trying to improve the efficiency of your business, having comprehensive tracking and analytics capabilities is a must for your financial systems.
If possible, choose a solution with receivables and payables analytics capabilities that provides out-of-the-box reports not only with general metrics, but also with the ability to create custom reports focused on any other details that can help identify bottlenecks or check the latest workflow improvements.
4. Real-time B2B reconciliation
In addition to general reporting, you will need a B2B payment platform that can integrate directly with your accounting system. Accurate reconciliation of incoming and outgoing payments with the appropriate accounting and journal entries can mean the difference between understanding your financial condition accurately and making bad decisions that damage your cash flow. The right solution will enable you to handle these basic accounting tasks in near real time or enable decision makers to make smarter decisions when it comes to your organization's financial future.
Learn more: how to automate the approval of the reconciliation procedure.
5. B2B loan management tools
If you are not operating on a pay-as-you-go basis, you are likely to provide lines of credit to your customers, allowing them to complete payment once the relevant goods or services have been delivered. But determining the amount of credit given to an individual client can be a difficult task.
Choose a payment platform that allows your employees to easily track payment history, purchase trends, and the overall credit score of each of your customers.
6. Functionality for B2B Portals
Incorporating self-service features into your payment processes not only relieves routine responsibilities from your internal staff. They will also likely improve the overall satisfaction of your suppliers and customers. A portal oriented to the outside world, whether it is for the circulation of electronic invoices for payment or for accepting online payments, allows external users to track the status and view the details of any transactions that are in progress. And they can access that information without any of the time delays it would take them to call one of your employees or respond to an email.
In addition, by focusing your receivables collection efforts through an e-billing site or by automating collection procedures and efforts in a portal that encourages digital payment methods, your business can reduce unnecessary delays associated with traditional procedures.
7. Role Based B2B Access Control
When payments are made, fraud is always a concern. Whichever solution you choose, you'll need a solution with strong security features to restrict access to these critical business systems. Ideally, the tool should also offer automatic validation and cross-referencing features, such as two-way or one-way matching of receivables or payables (accounts payable), which help avoid errors or fraud in B2B payments.
You will also benefit from applications that may limit the use of the tool. For example, in the context of accounts payable, you wouldn't want the same user to be able to create new vendors at the same time and subsequently approve payments to those same vendors.
8. Intuitive B2B payment user interface
Finance employees aren't always the most tech-savvy people in your office. So having an easy-to-use payment solution—for users inside and outside of your business—can help avoid unnecessary headaches and strained relationships. Ideally, the platform will provide payers and payees with access to easily digestible transaction data. And for your internal staff, pay adjustments or other modifications should be easy to do without the need for advanced system or coding knowledge.
Along with an intuitive platform, you will also need a solution that provides ongoing support, allowing your employees to contact experts with any questions or concerns.
e-Cont.md: a solution for the preparation and circulation of B2B invoices for payment and for automating the collection of receivables and accounting for accounts payable.
Regardless of your business, regardless of your industry, you will send and receive B2B payments on a regular basis. So why not make it as easy as possible to manage these efforts? With the right automated tools, you can shorten billing cycles and quickly access increased cash flow, giving you and your company more options to navigate the current, sometimes volatile market.
So if you want to get paid faster and more regularly - and still have access to advanced reporting and analytics - use our receivables automation tool. And if efficiently processing, checking and paying invoices proves to be a daunting task, our accounts receivable and payable automation software is here to help!
Schedule a demo or create a free account to see what e-Cont.md has to offer today.