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Payment methods for B2B eCommerce: traditional and digital options

by Orienteed experts team, March 23, 2021

In B2C eCommerce, processing a payment is quite simple.

A customer does not expect particular conditions and, when approaching the project, the most frequent question is which payment methods (or how many) we will integrate into the platform (Card, Paypal, Bizum, etc...).

However, if we are talking about B2B buyers, they are used to pay with conditions that can be negotiated along with the price itself. It is not uncommon for this type of transaction to even offer significant discounts for early payment, among other variations. 

This particular idiosyncrasy of the Business to Business eCommerce model is extremely important when approaching any digitalisation project in the world of manufacturing.

Today, in fact, the trend is increasingly towards implementing flexible payment options that combine traditional methods (such as cash on delivery, cheques and wire transfers) with their digital counterparts (such as mobile wallets, third-party financing and cryptocurrencies). As a B2B marketer, it's actually best to implement flexible payment options if you're looking to drive conversions at the highest level.

In today's post, we'll look at what the traditional payment methods are and how they work for B2B, along with those that have been pushing hard to transform the online retail segment from manufacturer to distributor.

Traditional B2B payment options

Often, in the discovery phase of a B2B project, one of the questions that raises the most concern among our customers is deciding which payment methods to implement and whether it is possible to "transfer" the company's sales policy to the online world when it comes to establishing different price models.

The answer is yes but, depending on the technology chosen for each project, the approach to pricing and payment can be more or less complex. If we stick to traditional payment options, most B2B specialised platforms allow working with flexible payment options without any problem.

Among the most common options are examples such as the following:

  • Purchase order: A purchase order is an authorisation that a company sends to a supplier to buy specific goods at a specific price. When the supplier accepts a purchase order, it becomes a legal contract that both parties must complete. It is possible to digitise this process through an ecommerce platform.
  • Bank transfer: In this case, money is transferred from one bank account to another, usually through an external facilitator. At the ecommerce level, this payment system can also be automated, so that the order enters the system only when the transfer order has been received or, failing that, the deposit has reached the company's account.
  • Credit cards: The simplest and most standard payment method, the most common issue is to decide which type of credit cards our system accepts, bearing in mind that they can generate certain risks of non-payment in the B2B ecosystem.

B2B payment options on the rise

  • Mobile wallets: Mobile wallets are no longer just for B2C. PayPal's merchant offerings and some US banks' corporate card integrations with Apple Pay and Google Pay are bringing the convenience of mobile wallet payments to B2B companies. 
  • Third-party financing: A business will be able to use a third party to finance a purchase. This is relevant in the B2B model as, for example, the business will be able to use a bank to finance the purchase of supplies, for example, and pay its supplier through that financing. The digitisation of this type of payment could revolutionise the way businesses interact with banks.
  • Cryptocurrency: The truth is that we are not far away from seeing commercial transactions between companies and distributors with payments in digital currency (Tesla has been doing this for some time). 

Not all payment options, traditional or digital, are suitable for all B2B companies. And of course, there are several factors to consider before deciding which payment methods make the most sense for a business.

At Orienteed, we always address the complexity of payment and its integrations as an important point within any ecommerce project, but more in detail for our B2B customers.

Before making any decision we always have to take into account what we are going to sell (product/service), what costs are involved in integrating one system or another, are these systems compatible with my platform, and what methods are most popular among our customers.


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