Enrique González
Founder & CEO
Nautech de México
/
Expert Contributor

Are B2B Payment Platforms Ready to Replicate B2C Success?

By Enrique Alfredo González Huitrón | Wed, 04/13/2022 - 10:00

In the last decade, we have witnessed the emergence of the most powerful B2C platforms in history, each one dominant in its industry: Amazon and Mercado Libre in retail, Netflix and YouTube in visual content, Spotify with music, Uber for ride-sharing, Meta (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) among the social networks and, of course, Google in the information market.

Besides their own success in disrupting those markets, among the most important values added by these platforms has been how easy they have made it for consumers to pay for the services each one offers. The result is the massive growth of B2C payments in the last 10 years[1]. Millions of people can purchase or hire goods and services just by tapping their smartphones, cards or simply by using the app associated with the platforms. Easy electronic payments and financing alone have brought amazing benefits for every size of business and their users through e-platforms. But how about business-to-business platforms? What if this platform business model and the related electronic payments and financing services were applied to everyday transactions between any company trading for goods and services? 

Today, almost anyone can get a loan or finance a purchase in a matter of minutes and so can companies. And they can do it with full control over their budgets and with less effort to reconcile all these payments thanks to the same technology people use to buy their supermarket supplies. Because of these reasons and possibilities, B2B platform[2] payments and financing are ready to replicate the successful growth seen with B2Cs.

According to Goldman Sachs reports, the value of B2B payment flows is estimated to be $127 trillion globally and accounts payable automation can reduce time spent by 65 percent-70 percent, while 60 percent of B2B payments are still paid via check in the US and Canada.[3] [4]

In the past, a company would go to the bank for financing and after months of paperwork, they would get an answer. In the event of a negative answer, they would have to start over and repeat the process with another bank. If the answer was affirmative, they would have to plan and adjust their budgets and expenditures considering the acquired debt. This process takes hundreds of hours just in labor and manual processes under the current conditions. Automating credit analysis, approval, disbursement, planning and execution would save a huge amount of costs both in time and funds. Imagine a complex supply chain (like offshore oil and gas, for instance) paying for and financing the supplies and services they require for their operations, purchasing fuel, hiring and managing crews, transporting them in boats and helicopters from the shore to the offshore rigs and facilities. All this in real time and under attractive financing terms to protect their cash flows.

But it’s not only a matter of payment. It is also about collecting. So, let’s look at the other side of the coin: the suppliers. Suppliers have always suffered from the zero-cost credit they give to their customers, especially in the B2B model[5]. The account receivables (as well as payments) automation and savings opportunity is massive and, among other things, would have a positive impact on the suppliers’ cash flow by collecting earlier from their customers.

Considering the historic friction in the offshore oil and gas logistics sector between corporate customers and ship and helicopter operators, especially in relation to payments, the automation of this area, its financing and conciliation among both parties ends up solving one of the most important headaches in this industry. They are just missing one thing: enrolling and transacting in an electronic platform that offers these services. The Mexican unicorn Konfio and other e-payment/financing platforms are backing a very good B2B platform, specialized in this kind of services for this specific market. For more info, please reach out to our team: info@nautech.com.mx.

 

[1] McKinsey & Company. October, 2018. Global payments 2018: A dynamic industry continues to break new ground. https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/industries/financial%20services/our%20insights/global%20payments%20expansive%20growth%20targeted%20opportunities/global-payments-map-2018.ashx

[2] https://www.applicoinc.com/blog/payments-will-be-the-defining-b2b-feature-of-2022-applico/

[3] Johnson, Nick & Riebe, Kevin. Distributor Financing: The Hottest Feature of B2B Marketplaces Bringing Offline Financing and Invoicing Online Report. Applico January 2022 and https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/from_briefings_08-oct-2018.html

[4] See also Goldman Sachs. B2B How the next payments frontier will unleash small business: September 16, 2018: https://www.gspublishing.com/content/research/en/reports/2019/09/04/201b4777-6217-4638-9701-fb98d67d9d5d.pdf

[5] https://www.bottomline.com/thought-leadership/corporate-payments-and-payables/ap-automation-trends-to-watch-in-2022

Photo by:   Enrique González