The Time for Progress is Now

How Blockchain Can Supercharge B2B Payments

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In today’s fast-paced and increasingly interconnected digital economy, the need for seamless business-to-business (B2B) payment solutions is critical. Innovative, purpose-built solutions can help optimize financial operations, improve cash flow and nurture relationships with partners and suppliers. 

Projected to reach US$31.71 billion by 2031, the global B2B payments market has service providers like traditional financial institutions, network giants like Visa and Mastercard and innovative technology startups all promising modern solutions. 

While many businesses still remain underserved and left to grapple with outdated tools and legacy processes, tech-forward solutions have an opportunity to fill the gaps in the global B2B payments market.

Outmoded B2B Payment Solutions

B2B payments are the lifeblood of global commerce, yet inefficiencies, delays and high costs remain the industry standard. From start to finish, payment operations are plagued by manual workflows, lengthy settlement times and a lack of transparency, leading to frustration and lost revenue across industries. 

Between manually generated invoices, hierarchical approval structures and segregated ERP systems and payment gateways, traditional solutions are proving increasingly inadequate at meeting modern business owners’ demands for immediacy, affordability and reliability. Meanwhile, the rise and fracture of global supply chains only exacerbates the issue as B2B international payments introduce added layers of complexity and risk.

To address these challenges, businesses are seeking payment solutions that offer speed, security, transparency and efficiency—and B2B payment technology is evolving in response. From artificial intelligence (AI) to the Internet of Things, new innovations aim to automate, streamline and enhance the entire B2B payment experience.

Technology-Powered B2B Payments

Gone are the days of traditional wire transfers and paper-based methods like cash and checks. Technological advancements are transforming the way businesses approach B2B payments for the better. 

Seamless integrations across software systems have automated invoicing and reconciliations, leading to greater financial clarity. Digital payment methods like electronic fund transfers and virtual cards have streamlined operations and reduced risk for business owners. And AI-powered algorithms have strengthened fraud detection and prevention.

While these shifts have already made significant strides in improving the efficiency, transparency and flexibility of global B2B payments, the introduction of blockchain will be a gamechanger. In fact, a 2023 blockchain and crypto in payments survey found B2B payments was the most often cited and most anticipated use case for blockchain, accounting for over one-third of all usage among those actively exploring, testing or using cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain technology offers a decentralized, immutable ledger that enables secure and transparent transactions without the need for intermediaries. This can enable near real-time settlement, reduce disputes and fraud, deliver exceptional cost savings and allow for better traceability of payments. This is especially impactful in cross-border payments, a historically slow, expensive and opaque system. 

By leveraging blockchain for B2B payments, businesses can further streamline processes, reduce costs and mitigate risks associated with the traditional payment method.

Hurdles to Adoption of Modern B2B Payment Methods

Despite the benefits of blockchain, there are still challenges to overcome before widespread adoption takes off in the B2B payment space. Sixty-four percent (64%) of business leaders highlight a lack of regulatory clarity as a key barrier. Addressing concerns around data privacy and security will be important for gaining trust and growing adoption. Price volatility, scalability and interoperability are also top of mind. 

However, these challenges are not insurmountable. The US made major progress in crypto legislation in 2023, bringing with it a sense of clearer regulatory frameworks and legitimacy for the industry. 

A number of other regions are taking a progressive stance on blockchain regulation by bringing bright minds together to support smart, safe innovation. And with ongoing collaboration among industry stakeholders, the potential for blockchain to revolutionize B2B payments is well within reach.

Embracing the Future of B2B

As we look to the future of B2B payments, it’s clear that blockchain will play a pivotal role in driving efficiency, transparency and trust in the international payment space. Business leaders are already seeing the benefits, with 77% noting that using blockchain for payments can be beneficial to end-users, and the large market size means greater opportunity for innovative B2B payment methods.

By embracing blockchain technology, businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth, streamline operations and build stronger relationships with partners and suppliers

Get started on your global payments strategy today.

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