The 8 Most Impactful B2B Payment Trends

b2b payment trends

Last modified on April 19th, 2024

In 1995, checks peaked with approximately 49.5 billion of them being written. In 2012 it was less than 20 billion, and in recent years (2021), it has fallen to 11.2 billion. That goes to show just how much payments have changed over the last 30 years with digital transformation. Who knows what they will look like in another 30 years? Read on to learn more about several impactful B2B payment trends for you to think about integrating into your business…

Trustpair wipes out payment fraud that comes with digital payment options thanks to automated account validation and constant transaction monitoring. Request a demo to learn more!

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Cross border payments

Cross-border payments across the globe are to rise from $190 trillion to $290 trillion by 2030.

Now, when buyers are looking for vendors to work with, they are bound to explore international options. Cheaper prices and better quality items in some cases can make them an attractive proposition.

This leads to the need for cross-border transactions which present specific risks and challenges. For example, these types of global transactions cost more for banks to process as they have to partner with another financial institution in the opposing country.

If they don’t already have an existing relationship, they need an intermediary bank to facilitate the transfer. This also means that cross-border payments can take much longer than domestic payments.

Different countries have differing rules and regulations for identity verification surrounding payments. Fraud prevention software like Trustpair can secure payments no matter whether you’re paying from the United States or Columbia.

 

Mobile payments

Mobile payments enable a business to pay for goods, services, and items on mobile with a quick tap on a machine.

The mobile payment market in the U.S. was believed to be worth around $53.5 billion in 2022. It is estimated to hit $607.9 billion by 2030.

For C-suites often on the go, mobile payments enable them to confirm and trace payments whenever they are. They are not just limited to a desk.

 

Paper checks down but not out

There has been a steady decline in paper checks being used for B2B payments since 2004. However, as of 2022, 33% of B2B payments in the U.S. and Canada are still made via check.

This is down from the reported 42% in 2019 but it is still a notable figure.

The reasons for the decline in paper checks for B2B payments include:

  • Susceptible to fraud – details such as the recipient’s name and bank details can be changed
  • Simplicity and predictability of alternative options – can set up online payments and know when they will be paid
  • Safer alternatives – card payments use tokenization, a form of encryption

 

Cryptocurrency payments

Cryptocurrency payments are one of the B2B payment trends for 2024. International B2B blockchain transactions could hit $1.7 billion by 2025.

One of the reasons they are popular is that they work on decentralized networks (unlike banks). There are no middlemen and therefore, extra fees.

It is particularly beneficial to those businesses that work with overseas suppliers as it will be more cost-effective.

Businesses that accept bitcoin – a type of crypto – as a form of payment include Microsoft and streaming service Twitch.

Cryptocurrency transactions are facilitated by blockchain. This is a decentralized platform that logs transactions. Once a transaction occurs, it is listed publicly (but made anonymous), which means it cannot be deleted or changed. This adds security to the payment.

Some of the benefits of cryptocurrency payments:

  • Transaction security
  • No middle-men so it’s cheaper
  • Private/Anonymous

 

Virtual cards

One of the B2B payment types that is trending is virtual cards because of their ease.

The number of virtual card transactions is set to rise from 28 billion in 2022, to more than 121 billion globally in 2027.

There are two versions of virtual cards. One is a single-use card, and the other is a lodge card that can be used repeatedly.

Renowned businesses such as Visa, Mastercard, and Starling all offer virtual cards.

The benefits of virtual cards are:

  • Can control spending with spend limits
  • Secured by a unique credit card number
  • Cheaper than a paper check
  • Integrate with accounts payable software

An added value of using a single-use virtual card is that if a fraudster were to steal your card details, they couldn’t reuse it and commit fraud due to the unique credit card number.

 

Real-time payments

By 2027, GlobalData forecasts that real-time payments will make up 27.8% of all electronic payments globally. This is an increase from 2022’s figure of 18%.

Using traditional B2B payment methods means it can take several days for the money to change accounts, especially if the money is being sent abroad. This could even lead to a late fee if the payment is sent beyond the agreed time frame with your supplier.

Real-time payments, also known as instant payments or RTP, would enable prompt transactions to be made. Buyers can pay vendors in a matter of seconds, and complete orders in good time with no delays.

This also improves cash flow so businesses can easily predict how much money they are set to have and they can distribute funds accordingly.

The benefits of real-time payments include:

For more details and best practices about instant payment, download our white paper!
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More flexible payment options

As has been the case with B2C payment options for customers like Klarna for example, we should see more B2B flexible payment options too.

Companies can purchase goods and services from vendors and pay later. The suppliers get paid in full and the buyer pays in installments.

Some businesses may not have the cash flow to pay large invoices if they’re waiting on income from their supply chain. So, by using buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment options, their supplier gets paid in full upfront and they get to stretch the payment, interest-free, to wait until they’re paid. The BNPL provider supplies the payment.

Additionally, suppliers that offer flexible payment options make them more appealing to buyers as it is even easier for buyers to do deals.

 

AI securing payments

The use of artificial intelligence and automation to secure payments is only becoming more popular. A study by Forbes Advisor found that more than half of businesses are using AI to help with cybersecurity and fraud management.

Given how prevalent fraud is in business, it is a wise move. In 2022, 56% of businesses had been targeted by payment fraud. Trustpair data in 2023 revealed that 96% of companies had.

Platforms like Trustpair offer security and ensure zero payment fraud when making a digital payment. The platform offers automated account validation and provides real-time alerts of vendor data changes to consistently monitor and be aware of suspicious activity.

Lee-Ann Perkins, Assistant Treasurer, Nacha Advisory Board member, said: “Companies have to use technology that’s out there to help them. These AI-backed tools are the true answer to fight this war against fraud. They’re the way to detect anomalies, intrusions, and so on. You can’t fight the war with manual processes only.”

AI also plays a part in automated payments. It can arrange invoices, send payments for approval, and complete payments all without an employee needing to intervene.

There are plenty of accounts payable systems on the market that can process invoices and make payments without or with little human intervention. Those solutions include Airbase, Wallestar, and Corpay Spend Management.

For example, Airbase’s technology uses AI elements when paying vendors. The platform has an online self-service vendor portal to gather contact, banking, and tax information. Invoices are scanned and populated using OCR technology.

Automated approval workflows activate the relevant approvers and observers based on factors such as the vendor and the amount. Employees can then review and approve bills. There is also automated 3-way matching of your invoices against your purchase orders and order receipts.

 

Recap

The most impactful B2B payment trends for 2024 involve cross-border payments, mobile payments, fewer paper checks, virtual cards, cryptocurrency payments, real time payments, AI-secured payments, and more flexible payment options. Platforms such as Trustpair secure digital payments thanks to automated account validation and constant transaction monitoring.

FAQ

The future of B2B payment methods is likely to be spread across several channels. Cryptocurrency payments are set to be rife, along with virtual cards, mobile payments, and real time payments.

B2B payment methods can be complex due to the payment terms and the sums of money involved. The payments often require extra approvals given the complexities of contracts, which can make it more complicated.

Manage the risks related to corporate treasury.

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