What SMEs need and expect from their online B2B payments

Simply being able to accept B2B payments online is no longer enough. Businesses want more, and with the right payments provider, they can get it.

When businesses first gained the ability to accept payments online in the mid 90s, commerce changed. No matter the industry, no matter the location, a giant new pathway to growth had opened up. 

Now, we see companies and even banks that are strictly digital, with global B2B eCommerce reaching a value of $14.9tr in 2020. So, we can assume that online payments are a hassle-free way to do business, right? 

Unfortunately not. Many SMEs will tell you that despite the innovation that has occurred within finance in the past two and a half decades, familiar pain points continue to exist and stifle their growth. Now, we have the ability to finally change that. 

The current restrictions of online payments 

Many solutions available today provide a simple payment acceptance software and little else. This leaves businesses fighting a lot of unnecessary battles themselves. 

Payment speed:

Currently, the majority of online B2B payments work like this. A business will send an invoice for the service they have performed to their client which includes details for a bank transfer. It then sits in on a to-do list of the client, most likely low-priority as they are concentrating on other areas, and the business simply has to wait. 

Eventually, the business has to contact the client, perhaps multiple times, encouraging them to make the payment, all the while having to cover their own costs without a fluid cashflow. This ‘chasing’ of payments not only takes up time for the business, but can lead to a weakened relationship between themselves and the client. 

Managing finances efficiently:

SMEs are likely to have a central business account and then either use a particular accounting software for small businesses, or do everything themselves. This means that business owners, accountants and finance departments have to spend time manually reconciling payments as there is no link between the payment and the accounting. Without any automated reconciliation, it is a painstaking task in which human error is likely to occur.

Relying on bank transfers:

The overwhelming majority of online B2B payments today happen via bank transfer. This is outdated. More and more businesses use corporate or business cards to pay for company expenses, why should they not be able to do the same when paying an SME for a service they have provided? 

The ability to pay by card offers genuine value to the client as it makes their own accounting easier, and allows the SME to target a higher number of potential clients. Without accepting card payments, you are not only missing out on potential businesses, but risking losing the customers you have. 

Overseas payments:

Businesses with global ambitions don’t want to hit payment hurdles as soon as they expand internationally. But as commerce has become increasingly globalised, SMEs are still being hit with FX conversion fees and payment complications when transacting across borders. 

How online payments can be 

SMEs should not settle for a payment solution which solves some problems while creating others. Instead, a comprehensive payment infrastructure can tear down barriers to growth and encourage its development. 

UNIPaaS offers a one-stop, white-label solution which integrates seamlessly with accounting software for small businesses. Firstly, cashflow is improved by providing a direct payment link within the invoice sent out to clients. Businesses can benefit from faster B2B payments when a payment link is embedded within the invoice. 

With both payments and invoicing integrated with a UNIPaaS solution, businesses get automated, real-time reconciliation, enabling your team to focus on growing your business. 

As for the type of payments you can accept, card payments, international payments and bank transfers are all available without any hidden fees or high FX costs. One developer-friendly API integration (with an average time of < two weeks) gives you a payment infrastructure that suits your clients’ needs, as opposed to an outdated system they have to work around. 

Innovative SMEs deserve an online payment infrastructure which encourages and stimulates their growth. UNIPaaS was created for that reason. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.