B2B payment needs: Easier invoicing, portals

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Businesses face two main issues when making payments to suppliers: invoice reconciliation issues and lack of supplier portals.

In fact, each of these issues was cited by approximately 42% of financial institutions when asked about common issues their corporate customers face when paying suppliers, according to Meeting the Challenge of Payments Modernization, a collaboration between PYMNTS and FIS based on a survey of 311 executives who serve as heads of financial services service or wholesale banks at major international banks, regional banks, community banks and credit unions.

Get the report: Meeting the payment modernization challenge

Additionally, 15% of executives surveyed said the inability to offer supplier portals was the number one issue companies face when paying suppliers, while 9% said the same about matching invoices.

Modernizing the B2B ecosystem

Financial institutions continue to modernize their business-to-business (B2B) payments ecosystem to meet corporate customers’ needs for streamlined payments and cash management, while solving their invoice reconciliation woes and lack of supplier portals.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all perfect solution, as data suggests that financial institutions’ effectiveness in addressing customer needs varies by customer size or market.

PYMNTS data shows that financial institutions that serve cross-border payments for customers and large companies tend to offer more digital solutions than those serving medium-sized businesses and small businesses. In fact, only about a third of all financial institutions surveyed said they effectively limit B2B payments and cash management friction for their customers, yet three-quarters or more of financial institutions offering cross-border payments for customers and large corporations said that it had been successful in this task.

For example, financial institutions that serve cross-border payment customers and large businesses are most likely to offer automated payment and invoice reconciliation – with 48% serving small businesses.

Supplier portal adoption shows a similar gap: while 65% of financial institutions serving cross-border payment customers and 51% serving large corporations currently offer supplier portals, only 32% of those serving mid-sized companies and 15% of those serving mid-market companies do so who serve small businesses So.

Striving for a better customer experience

Financial institutions face numerous challenges when it comes to meeting the B2B payment needs of their corporate customers across a variety of markets.

Understanding what drives different enterprise markets can help financial institutions further modernize and streamline their B2B payments and cash management offerings.

Financial institutions serving large corporations and cross-border payment customers appear to be well on their way to innovative digital solutions to modernize B2B payments and even embedded financial experiences, and are regularly at the forefront.

However, those serving mid-sized and small businesses have yet to fully realize the potential of B2B payment innovation, and creating a technology stack or solutions may result in resource constraints, or solutions may be inadequate, especially for these businesses.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) can help financial institutions transform B2B payments, Neeraj Gupta, vice president of FIS, B2B Solutions, told PYMNTS in a June 27 interview.

Continue reading: APIs pave the way for new digital experiences for consumers and businesses

Access to the software intermediaries that allow two applications to talk to each other is key to providing the flexibility needed to meet new consumer and business customer expectations. Gupta said an API ecosystem will usher in an era of customization where banking products and services are tailored to the individual customer.

As he told PYMNTS, “The broader API ecosystem is ultimately a means to an end, offering new ways to organize data to create a better customer experience.”

Considering an enterprise-class technology solution could help put financial institutions and their corporate customers on the fast track to innovation.

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