With B2B digital payment platforms still in their relative infancy, there are advantages and disadvantages to implementing one. Knowing what these pros and cons are — and how to make the most of the situation — is crucial. It’s likely digital payment platforms will become the standard for B2B transactions in the future, so it’s a good idea to explore your options now and get ahead of the curve.
Advantages of digital payment platforms
Digital payments are convenient, for both you and your customers. When 2020 brought new challenges, digital payments provided an effective method for managing transactions while keeping employees and customers safe. Most digital payment platforms have built-in record-keeping tools, enabling businesses to maintain a secure and reliable record of all transactions. Access to this information is helpful not only in day-to-day operations, but also during audits. The nature of digital payment solutions means businesses can avoid the risk of losing paper checks or invoices in transit. From a B2B consumer standpoint, digital payment options meet the growing demand for convenience and congruence with B2C transactions.
Overall, digital payment options create desired convenience and ease in B2B transactions while also supporting enhanced visibility, reporting functionality, and a better customer and employee experience. These solutions are certainly rising in both popularity and usefulness.
Disadvantages of digital payment platforms
Digital payments are still a relatively new solution in B2B purchasing. A majority of solutions are geared more toward B2C transactions today, with a smaller subset of solutions focusing on B2B transactions. What works for consumer transactions does not necessarily translate to the needs of businesses. Typically, B2B ecommerce is more complex, requiring multiple stakeholders, extended sales cycles, higher-dollar sales, and more. Often, these complexities are too much for traditional B2C solutions to handle.
From a security standpoint, digital payment solutions introduce a potential risk point for businesses that must be addressed and secured. If there’s a data breach or the platform is hacked, for example, not only could the business lose money, but its reputation will likely be damaged as well. Trust is one of the most important properties of any relationship, including business relationships. This means business leaders must take careful consideration when choosing the right digital payment solution for their needs.
It’s important to research and properly evaluate your options. Given the relative newness of this technology for B2B transactions, there is a natural level of instability or uncertainty as businesses explore, test, and optimize their experiences with these solutions. They may not be perfect from day one, but it’s likely these solutions will become the new standard, so the businesses exploring and adopting today will have a greater say in the features and functionality of the future.
Is a digital payment solution right for your business today? Will it benefit your business in the future? Only you can decide. But the best way to make that informed decision is to gain as much information as possible. Depending on your client base, your product or service, and the technological capabilities of your company, you may decide that now is the perfect time to implement a new solution, or you may decide to wait. There’s no right or wrong answer — and no two businesses are the same. The strategy and platform best suited for one company might not work for you, and vice versa.
Before committing yourself to a payment platform, make sure you know what you need. Consider the advantages and disadvantages, do your research, and take it all at your own pace.