Electronic payment methods aren’t just for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies anymore. Today, more and more business-to-business (B2B) organizations are learning that old cash, check, and 30-day invoice methods are simply outdated, unsafe, and inefficient. Mobile payments are proving the easier, more cost-effective way to pay bills and settle debts—even between businesses.
Eliminate the time gap.
While invoicing and a standard 30-day payment timeframe may have worked 30 years ago for many B2B relationships, most of us don't have time for all that these days. While invoices are still necessary for record keeping purposes, they can be sent via email. Once the invoice is received, the process doesn’t have to slow down to a snail’s pace and devolve into non-electronic methods. While many B2B transactions have traditionally revolved around paper checks, there are a variety of new options available today for all types of businesses.
Mobile payments, for instance, allow for immediate payments, even through electronic check methods, instead of a lengthy and drawn out payment process through paper invoices and paper checks—all of which are expensive and require preparation. Through a mobile payment processor, however, you can pay bills through credit or debit card, through electronic check, or via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) immediately—even for B2B transactions—without hassle and without a pending invoice hanging in the area.
Clear and easy record keeping.
One of the most amazing aspects of electronic transactions is the paper trail. Mobile payments are always tracked by a payment system, many of which allow for easy integration of these records into reports and other important systems within your business. Keeping a thorough record of financials has never been easier or cheaper.
Safer transaction processing.
While B2C businesses have been fairly mobile for a while now, B2B companies have lagged behind. One source reported that the reason behind this lack in technologically savvy payment options was due to “supplier resistance”, as well as a lack of confidence in the security of mobile payments. Reportedly, only 10 percent of professionals surveyed in a study conducted in conjunction with the National Association of Payment Card Professionals (NAPCP) indicated that they were “likely” or “very likely” to utilize mobile payments for their B2B transactions.
While concerns about security are warranted considering the high numbers of breaches and fraud that many businesses have faced in the last few years, the fact is that traditional check payment methods are actually in some ways less secure than mobile payments or other electronic payment methods. According to a Canvas Marketing article, check fraud is one of the most common forms of fraud on the market. This assertion is confirmed in an article by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). Essentially, money is hard to secure no matter what form it comes in.
Make payments easier for your customers.
Regardless of safety concerns and the NAPCP survey results, there is evidence to suggest that mobile payments are catching on with many B2B businesses faster than many believe. According to one 2015 AFP report, roughly 80 percent of B2B companies are switching to electronic payment methods, including mobile payments—and really, despite a few nay sayers, this should come as no surprise.
The fact is that mobile payments are just easier for the customers and for the company. Once the upfront cost portion is handled, an effective software and hardware system for electronic payments can simplify billing and accounts receivables (A/R) processes considerably. Even better, it saves both companies money, since paper checks and manpower to process them will no longer be required. With mobile payments, a few clicks is all it takes and everyone has what they need.
Certainly, no system is without its flaws, but mobile payments are here to stay for both B2C and B2B industries. Don’t miss out on an easier, quicker way to manage your revenue stream and simplify your business’s financial future.
About the Author - Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood. .