In 2016, the total revenue of B2B companies in the U.S. hit $28.5 billion. This is a huge industry that’s poised for growth. Is your B2B company prepared to keep up?
Growing revenue at your own business takes a lot of things. But one aspect that often gets forgotten is the importance of B2B payment processing. You can ensure timely payments and keep more clients with a great B2B payment system.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about B2B payment processing. Keep reading to find out how to keep those payments coming in!
What is B2B Payment Processing?
Not sure what we mean when we say “B2B payment processing”? Let’s define these terms.
For as long as there have been B2B companies, there have been B2B payments. But it wasn’t until relatively recently that those companies needed modern payment processing system.
When transactions happened in person, so did most payments. People might pay by cash, card, or check, or even over the phone. But today, more B2B companies do business online. They need modern payment processing systems to keep up.
B2B payment processing systems also speed up the process of getting paid. Rather than sending an invoice and waiting for the check to come in, you can request and receive payment in a matter of days, if not hours.
The Qualities of a Good Payment Processing System
Of course, processing systems can be good or bad, just like any other aspect of your business. Let’s take a look at the qualities a good B2B transaction system should have.
1. Great Security
One of the biggest concerns of modern online payment systems is the security. People are submitting valuable information about bank accounts and credit cards online, and your clients need to know that you’ll protect that information.
There are standards in place that you should follow for your own peace of mind, as well as that of your clients. For example, you’ll want to look for online processors with Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance.
Make sure to also note the security measures you’ve taken on the payments page of your site. That way, you’ll address clients’ concerns at the time they make a payment.
2. Easy Online Submission
You may want to still offer offline payment options if you have a lot of old-fashioned clients who are wary of making payments online. But the easier your online submission system is, the easier it will be to convert your clients to it.
Make sure you choose a system that easily accepts the payment types your clients will use most often. This will almost certainly include credit cards, but might also include other payment types, like ACH payments.
It should be easy for people to log in and enter their payment information. You might also offer a safe way to store payment info, so your clients don’t have to enter it more than once. Some clients may want to set up recurring orders with payments taken automatically.
3. Business Software Integration
Whichever payment software you choose, you’ll need to make sure you can integrate it with your existing business software.
Some processors are compatible with many types of business software or platforms, while others are much more limited. If you choose a system that you can’t integrate, you’ll have to adjust your software around it, which can get needlessly complicated.
4. Buyer Protection
Both you and your clients should be protected from fraud and false charges by the payment processor you choose.
For example, many credit card companies offer high levels of protection, which is why clients may choose them. Your processor needs to accept all cards so that buyers can make payments with confidence.
Types of B2B Payment System
Next, let’s take a look at some of the different types of B2B payment processor. It’s up to you to decide which ones suit your business needs best.
Credit Card Processor
Since businesses love credit cards for their security and flexibility, this is one of the most important types of processor to have. If clients can’t use a credit card to buy from your business, they’ll probably go elsewhere.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Electronic funds transfer, or EFT, allows funds to transfer directly from one bank account to the other. Some people also call this method “electronic banking” or “wire transfer.”
Basically, EFT covers a wide variety of payment types, but they all involve a direct bank transfer initiated by either you or the client.
Many clients also love ACH payment options for their security. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, and it’s responsible for processing many financial transactions in the U.S.
These transfers also happen from bank to bank, but they go through the ACH first, which adds a new layer of security. You might use ACH payments to deposit paychecks for your employees. But your clients can also use them to transfer money directly to you.
ACH transfers have a reputation for being more secure than other payment methods, and they’re also quite inexpensive.
If your clients love paying by check, giving them an electronic check option might be a good idea.
An electronic check or e-check is a digital version of a check. This is essentially a type of EFT transaction, but it uses the method of a check instead. The process is much faster than paying by traditional check, so it can be a win-win for both you and your clients. E-checks are also quite secure.
Which B2B Payment Processing System is Right for You?
Many businesses will need to integrate more than one kind of B2B payment processing method. But B2B credit card processing is widely held as the most important system you can have. Your clients are more likely to pay via credit card than almost any other method.
Looking for the right credit card processor? Start processing payments with us today!