The digital transformation triggered by the pandemic needs to be refined with solutions that cater to specific business needs. Plug-and-Play is in demand, so it needs to evolve with the fast-changing market scenario.
The B2B payments market is in a state of flux. This is mainly due to the current global circumstances but also due to an inevitable digital transformation that is occurring across all industries. This shift has been taking place for some time now, but the coronavirus pandemic accelerated it. The pandemic created an environment where businesses needed to find new ways of managing their operations and finances. Many quickly turned to Fintech companies that offered modern solutions which enabled them to improve efficiency, scale faster, and create new revenue streams.
The key drivers for change include digital-first payments, cloud-native processing platforms, extensible APIs; and omnichannel payments solutions. The growing popularity of APIs will be crucial as businesses look to harness new technologies to drive down costs while increasing efficiency and delivering better customer service at critical times.
The rising need for digital-first payments
The B2B payments industry has undergone significant changes during the past few years. We’re now entering a phase where rapid digital transformation has become the norm for businesses of all sizes. Companies are looking for solutions that will help them better manage their financial operations, and many have found success by partnering with Fintechs which offer the modern functionality they need.
Modern business owners want plug-and-play (PnP) bill pay solutions that can be implemented quickly and easily. They also want to minimize labor costs while enhancing efficiency by automating tasks like reconciling statements, creating purchase orders, and generating invoices. But most businesses need more than a standardized platform; they need digital tools designed specifically for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). These tools include integrations with accounting software, but they may also have business analytics capabilities such as real-time reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs).
Additionally, these modern, next-generation payment solutions are cost-effective, making them an obvious choice for businesses. One of the main reasons it has been hard for companies to successfully find payment solution partners is that they aren’t merely looking at automation and modern technology as a peripheral addition to their payment systems. Including a neo payments infrastructure improves their overall business operations in the process. To add to that—Fintech innovations around a comprehensive solution for niche sectors, are a recent phenomenon. But it is quickly catching pace with the demand.
Omni-channel payments to meet new challenges
The future of payments will enable businesses to manage their financial operations in a digital-first way and scale quickly to meet new demands. This means that businesses must look for available solutions so they can continue doing business in the ways they have always done it while also being able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances.
Payments made through different ways and channels add some confusion as they are difficult to reconcile without proper integration among various channels. For example, a customer might pay online through a bank’s web portal using a credit card or at a store by swiping a debit/credit card at the POS terminal. Different payment methods within the same channel (in-store) may include Apple Pay or Android Pay at an NFC (near field communication) terminal or PayPal’s digital wallet on the phone, which can all be used while shopping online.
These different modes of payment need to be available simultaneously at a single terminal to simplify the transaction for the customer. These various apps then need to be available to merchants too for paying their bills, such that it does not pose a restriction for them. The entire payments funnel from B2B to C2B must be complete to bring all payments into the digital ecosystem. Digital commerce is the largest segment of current digital payments composition, valued at $5.49 trillion in 2022.
The growing popularity of APIs
Digital payments have been made seamless through the innovation of APIs, which have been in use for some decades now. But the possibilities of functionality offered by these pieces of code are only now being explored fully. APIs are used worldwide by almost every app developer. In fact, they are the essence of any digital-first payments ecosystem.
APIs are set up so that one software can communicate with other software. They allow communication between different systems and platforms so that apps can work together in a business without having to reinvent everything every time there’s a change in the business model or an upgrade to the hardware. And the money companies save from avoiding this exercise is yet another point of importance that arises from the use of APIs.
The cloud-native payments processing platform
Cloud-native payments processing platform is a payments platform that is built on a cloud-native architecture. It’s designed to work with the world’s most common API technologies and can be easily integrated into any existing web or mobile application using REST calls. This makes it easy for businesses to add new payment methods, support new regions, and currencies, or simply get their hands on some extra cash flow.
Cloud-native processing platforms are also optimized for omnichannel payments as they let you process transactions in multiple channels (e.g., over the phone, in-store, and online) at once, so that your customers can pay however they want without having to fill out forms every time they purchase from your company. Cloud-native processing platforms also allow companies to take advantage of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) that can help them identify fraud or improve customer service by understanding their customers better than ever before. To stay competitive in today’s market, all payment providers must have these capabilities at their disposal.
Businesses want next-generation bill pay solutions
All businesses want to pay their bills digitally, as the 2022-26 growth forecast for digital payments by Statista has been placed at 12.82%. It is, therefore, becoming increasingly common for companies of all sizes to do business online. It’s also why businesses need next-generation bill pay solutions that allow them to scale their business and benefit from the digital payments market poised to reach $13.75 trillion by 2026. For this shift from analog to digital payments systems to occur, there needs to be a solution that is simple enough for companies without dedicated IT departments or teams of developers on hand (for example, small businesses). This means paying bills should be simple enough so that even non-IT employees can complete the task without needing assistance from external parties (like larger corporations).
When considering how to improve their business operations, businesses need to be thinking about digital-first payment solutions that can act as a one-stop-shop for all of their needs. These types of solutions allow businesses to scale exponentially. There are several payment solution providers out there who offer plug-and-play payment solutions. But with so many options available, businesses need to find the solution that best fits their needs.