If you own or manage a company, there’s a good chance you’ll need a B2B payment provider UK. Even if you operate in the B2C sector, every business interacts with other businesses, which means B2B payments are a critical element of your operations.
For B2B companies, regular interactions with corporations, partnerships, and sole traders means that finding the right B2B payment provider is essential. Before you select a B2B payment provider UK, however, it’s important to understand what to look for in a payment provider and which features are most useful to business account holders.
In this article, we’ll explore what a B2B payment provider is, what you should look out for when signing up for a B2B payment solution, and which features should be a top priority.
What Is a B2B Payment?
A B2B payment is any type of payment that’s made from one business to another. Technically, this includes traditional forms of payment, such as cash and cheques. However, the financial services landscape has changed radically as it’s become digitalised, and more modern and convenient B2B payment solutions are now available.
Today, B2B payments can take many forms, such as:
- Bank transfers
- Wire transfers
- Direct Debits
- Debit card payments
- Credit card payments
- Virtual cards
Of course, all of these payment methods (excluding cash) rely on a system to facilitate the transaction. Essentially, this payment system enables the funds to be sent from one business to another and that’s where B2B payment providers come in.
What Is a B2B Payment Provider UK?
A B2B payment provider is a company or financial institution that provides B2B payment systems or solutions. Traditionally, it was mainly banks and major card companies that provided these services but as new electronic payment solutions have emerged, a whole industry of B2B payment providers has grown too.
With new B2B payment solutions, these payment providers are disrupting the traditional market and empowering businesses like never before. Replacing long clearance times and high fees with instant transfers and cost-effective transaction charges, today’s B2B payment providers can revolutionise business management and enable growing companies to streamline and simplify their operations.
However, it’s important to remember that each B2B payment provider can offer a different range of services and payment options. Some may offer card processing and fund transfers, while others may prioritise crypto and virtual cards. It’s important, therefore, to consider what features and solutions are most important to you and your customer base when choosing a B2B payment provider UK.
What To Look for In a B2B Payment Provider
Working with a B2B payment provider UK can be an effective way for companies to reduce their costs, accelerate transactions and strengthen client relationships but choosing the right B2B payment provider is critical to success.
When you’re looking for a B2B payment provider UK, be sure to consider the following factors:
Range of Payment Options
Being able to accept and send payments in a variety of formats enhances operational flexibility and it can also boost your acquisition rates, so it’s important that your preferred B2B payment provider can offer a range of payment options that is suitable for you and your target client base.
If you can only accept debit card payments, for example, this could greatly reduce your flexibility and may even dissuade clients from doing business with you. In contrast, being able to send and receive payments via debit card, credit card, online payment gateways, or multicurrency transfers gives you greater operational flexibility and allows you to meet your client’s needs.
Companies are often stuck paying high transaction and/or account fees when they use a traditional business account, such as those offered by high street banks. With B2B payment providers UK, however, companies can access low-cost fees and reduced charges. Ultimately, this makes your business more profitable, as it reduces your expenditure and allows you to retain a larger percentage of your revenue.
B2B payment providers may charge recurring subscription fees and/or one-off transaction fees, so it’s important to compare the fee structure of each provider before you decide which one is right for you. Similarly, transaction fees may be made up of a flat fee and/or a percentage of the transaction, so be sure to consider which pricing strategy best suits your company’s needs.
Customer Service and Support
While your B2B payment services should be seamless and easy to use, it’s important to have recourse to timely and useful customer support, as and when you need it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, not all B2B payment providers offer the same level of quality and responsiveness when it comes to customer service and, if you do encounter issues, this could seriously impact your business operations.
Fortunately, every PayAlly account holder has their own dedicated Relationship Manager who is on hand to provide advice and assistance whenever it’s required. From setting up your account to helping you implement the right solutions for your company, having access to outstanding and ongoing customer support will give you peace of mind, as well as invaluable assistance.
One of the biggest benefits of working with a B2B payment provider UK is being able to send and receive funds much more quickly than other payment solutions can facilitate. When you’re reliant on older forms of B2B payments, such as cheques, it can take days or weeks until the funds actually reach your account. Even bank transfers can take days to complete, which obviously puts pressure on your company’s cash flow.
In contrast, the right B2B payment provider UK will be able to offer accelerated transfers and, in some cases, will even be able to provide instant and real-time payments. This closes ‘payment gaps’ and allows you to receive funds more quickly, thus improving your cash flow and simplifying your financial management.
Variable Payment Terms
‘Buy now, pay later’ terms are popular in the B2C world but they’re even more commonplace in the B2B sector. Being able to offer your B2B customers variable payment terms can give your brand a competitive edge and may boost your acquisition and retention rates, which is why it’s an important consideration when you’re choosing a B2B payment provider UK.
By choosing a B2B payment provider that can accommodate variable and extended payment terms, you can combine common features of traditional B2B payment agreements with advanced technology to satisfy customers and simplify your payment processing.
Regulatory Compliance and Security
Keeping your company’s funds and financial information secure is a top priority, so you’ll need to make this a primary consideration when you’re deciding which B2B payment provider to work with. Selecting a firm that’s regulated by the FCA in the UK and the ECB in Europe can be advantageous, for example.
Similarly, take a deep dive into the security protocols your preferred payment provider implements, as this will give you an indication of whether they’re the right partner for your company. Standard security measures, such as Know Your Customer (KYC), should always be incorporated into a payment provider’s operations.
White Label Capabilities
If you want to offer branded financial solutions, then working with a B2B payments provider that offers white label solutions can certainly be beneficial. In addition to competitive white label capabilities, such as white label debit cards, API-first payment solutions will enable you to create custom online payment facilities while reducing your costs and accelerating the development process.
Having reporting functionalities built into your B2B payment solutions greatly reduces workflows and allows you to access accurate company financial information instantly. In fact, some B2B payment providers even offer real-time reporting, so you’ll never be behind the curve when it comes to monitoring your company’s incoming and outgoing funds.
When reporting features aren’t incorporated into your payment solutions, you need third-party solutions that can be integrated into your payment solutions. As well as increasing your costs and extended workflows, this can pose potential security risks. In contrast, in-built reporting keeps your data secure while streamlining financial reporting.
Today’s companies rarely operate in a small geographic environment, so it’s important that your payment functionality represents your current and future operations. With multicurrency functionality, for example, your business can enjoy global reach and partner with companies from all over the world. Crucially, multicurrency payment functionality is more convenient for your global customer base, and it can reduce transaction costs too.
Do You Need a B2B Payment Provider UK?
It’s easy to assume that a traditional business bank account will provide sufficient functionality for your company’s operations but, in today’s digital climate, that’s rarely the case. Furthermore, business bank accounts often come with high account fees and steep transaction charges, which can increase your company’s OPEX.
By working with a dedicated B2B payment provider, however, you can access a wider range of payment solutions at a cheaper cost. Whether you’re just starting out, expanding your business, or looking for new solutions for an enterprise business, our role as a B2B payment provider UK makes us perfectly placed to meet your needs. To find out more, contact our experienced and friendly team today.