Due to large transaction sizes, the incumbent way to accept B2B payments has been via cheque. However, this payment method is costly and time-consuming for B2B businesses. The unnecessary effort and expenses associated with cheques include:
- sending out invoices
- waiting for snail-mail payments (which is susceptible to postal service stoppages and getting lost in transit)
- chasing NSF payments
- filing copies
- depositing the cheques
Accepting credit cards is one way to streamline your payment process. Whether you’re a manufacturer, a wholesale distributor, or any other B2B merchant, not accepting credit card means you’re ignoring a portion of your market. In today’s digital age, electronic payments (like credit and debit cards) are ubiquitous, with cheques and cash becoming increasingly antiquated. These days, companies expect businesses they’re working with to be able to accept credit card payments.
- The total sales volume of B2B sales is significant; online B2B sales in the U.S. generated $780 billion in 2015 – and by 2020, that number could increase to $1.13 trillion.
- 56% of B2B eCommerce executives said they have certain customers they can only profitably support online.
There are many reasons to accept credit cards, but below are some of the benefits of accepting B2B credit card payments:
Credit cards add another sales channel for your business. B2B transactions have begun to follow the footsteps of B2C when it comes to client processes and payments. Like consumers, B2B clients want easy access to online ordering, convenient checkout, and seamless payment systems; payments are becoming increasingly friction-free. A study has shown that transactions regularly increase 12%-18% when credit cards are used.
When you accept cheque payments, there’s a lot of time wasted while you wait to receive the cheque, bank it, then wait for it to clear. And if the cheque does not clear, there are additional fees involved and delays in getting your money. Accepting credit cards help to reduce the amount of paperwork you have to deal and the costs involved, as well as increase your productivity by making your payment process more efficient.
Credit cards offer the option to conveniently cater to repeat clients. You can securely store sensitive payment information, making it easy to perform repeat transactions at the click of a button. Furthermore, you can implement recurring billing to further simplify your life – just set it and forget it.
By accepting credit cards, you get more financial transparency. You have a detailed record of all transactions; you’re able to see weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly reports of funds that allow you to forecast future revenue. You can easily track payments by user, client, date, method, or amount. Electronic reporting also makes accounting a breeze; many payment providers have integrations that allow you to export transaction and payment data straight into your accounting software, making reconciliation and your bookkeeper’s life easier.
Improve cash flow
There’s often a long wait for cheques to clear, stalling your cash flow – which is a problem if you’re on a tight budget. When you accept credit cards, the payment is automatically charged to your client’s card, and you see funds in your bank account within 1-2 business days. Your funding time goes from 20-45 days to 1-2 business days. Simply put, you get paid faster. With credit cards, there’s no risk of bounced cheques, stopped payments, or incorrectly filled-out cheques.
Printed cheques bring an increased risk to businesses; 60% of organizations were exposed to fraud during 2013, with checks accounting for 82% of those instances. With credit cards, you have access to fraud prevention tools like AVS (address verification service) to reduce fraudulent activity. There are strict rules and regulations in place to ensure a healthy credit card environment. Whether you accept payments in person, on the phone, or over the web, partnering with a reliable payment processor will ensure that every credit card payment you process is PCI-compliant and secure.
If you accept credit cards, you also have the ability to accept payments on the spot with a mobile app or an attached card reader. This means you get paid faster and more securely. It can be powerful when you’re at your client’s location and are able to accept a credit card immediately with a mobile swiper. You get paid right away, and the client’s credit card information stays private.
Never lose a sale
Your client may prefer to use credit cards as they can reap perks like points, rewards, or cash back. Credit cards also help enhance your competitive advantage and draw clients away from your competitors who may not be accepting credit cards. By allowing them to pay in the method they prefer, you can not only expand your client base but also improve acquisition and retention. As many of your clients will expect the companies they work with to accept credit cards, the more payment options you offer, the easier it is to do business and obtain clients. The simple convenience factor is often enough to sway clients.
In terms of wanting a wider range of payment options, B2B customers are no different from B2C customers; they prefer to have a range of options to choose from when it comes to making a payment for a purchase. Clients will gravitate towards payment options that provide them with the most security and convenience.
A number of B2B companies make purchases exclusively with their credit cards because it is critical to their business account needs. Many wholesalers and distributors are now accepting credit cards due to a significant increase in demand. By accepting credit cards at your business, you can outshine your competition to gain and retain more customers.