“Corporate payments are struggling.” “Corporate payments will never be on the same level as their retail counterparts.” “B2B space is lacking innovation.” – All these headlines are good article and report titles. However, the issue is two-faced. After a few years of press and industry buzz, what is the reality behind corporate payments innovation?
Corporate payments are the Achilles heel of the payments industry. Old infrastructure still dictates the pace and model around the sphere. Faster payments are a need. Same clutter is still a reality. Much has been said how fast retail payments could be a starting point for quicker B2B payments too. Indeed, this could be the case, but there are more variables to the matter. Although C2B and B2C payments saw considerable leaps in the past couple of years, the mentality around the B2B sphere is different.
Corporate buyers value consistency and stability, and businesses thrive on it. Simplifying processes, bringing costs down and increasing transactional speed are all an utter need now for B2B payments. Integration and adoption of third-party solutions make B2B payments stall. Existing systems are not the fastest and most efficient, but they get the job done.
Corporate payments have different priorities than the retail ones. The customer experience is differently layered in the B2B space, which is why the current consumer-centric retail model for transactions does not apply entirely. Yes, we notice that the consumer space is expecting more and more from corporate transactions, but the process is slow and ultimately incremental.
Transforming the corporate payments landscape is not an easy process. Catching up with the seamless, convenient, real-time, and cost-efficient consumer experience might take longer time and a different route. After all, the business space of payments features different characteristics than the retail one. Technology and innovation proved their point, but it takes time to perfect them for every sector.
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