Today, global economies are interconnected, and B2B cross-border payments are the backbone through which the economies boom. Real-time payments have favoured businesses as the factors like reliability and speed of payment have enabled growth and dependence on newer modes of payment.
New digital platforms bind people and technology together and help businesses move online. It also changes the methods of payments involved and integrates newer technology along with automation. Over the years, the demand for a concrete remittance platform enhancing the B2B business across borders has helped cross bigger milestones.
The development of B2B Cross-Border Payments will have a direct impact on the economies and expedite the way the business operates. Several fintechs have started the progress, that would bring a concrete development in the way the payments operate.
Let us explore in detail about cross border payments and how they are impacting the B2B segments.
An introduction to B2B payments
The growth of financial transactions between businesses that involve the transfer of funds across international borders, for goods or services is on the rise. The transactions involve multiple financial institutions and currencies, which can include different regulations and fees. Various methods of money transfers include wire transfers, international ACH transfers, payment cards, electronic wallets, and cryptocurrencies are adopted commonly.
One of the major advantages for business people is that they can send and receive money across any part of the world, however, exchange rates, fees, payment processing times, and regulatory requirements make it one of the most complicated processes, leading to roadblocks. To ensure smooth transactions, it is essential to have reliable payment methods. Also, the awareness of the regulatory requirements in the countries they operate in and should conduct due diligence on their trading partners would enhance progress. Businesses are now looking for smoother and more efficient cross-border financial transactions, enabling them to capitalise on the benefits of global commerce.
B2B Cross Border payment Statistics:
According to the Juniper report, from the year 2022 to 2027, the growth projected in the cross-border B2B segment would grow to 26%, where the market size is expected to expand from $88 trillion to $111 trillion in 2027. Attributing to the factors such as price rise due to inflation and the development of stronger markets across various economic zones.
Another significant factor concerning the growth is automation, which speeds up the processes of accounts payable and receivable thereby enhancing the efficiency of payments processing, presenting a significant opportunity for B2B payment vendors. As with an assumption of 1,400 domestic payments on average globally in 2027, there is a great scope to unlock greater opportunities to manage to reconcile payments. Also, through automation along with the adoption of instant payments, by introducing new payment methods, and the use of the ISO 20022 standards, the growth is relentless.
Exploring Diverse B2B Money Transfer Methods:
1. Wire Transfer
Wire transfers offer fast and secure transactions and can be initiated over the phone by speaking directly to a bank’s representative or by accessing the online banking profile. It is one of the most preferred methods for transferring large sums of money, for businesses involving different countries, currencies, and time zones. It involves several layers of scrutiny, and verification to ensure the funds are deposited correctly. However, wire transfers incur fees from both parties and may have limitations imposed by banks.
2. ACH Transaction
ACH transactions are faster and more cost-effective than cheques. They are extremely safe, as they do not involve any physical documents. It is used for several payments like direct deposits of payroll, and electronic bill payments, along with one-time or recurring fund transfers between bank accounts. It is processed through the ACH network and highly facilitates fund transfers between banks. Several businesses, government agencies, and individuals manage their finances and make payments through ACH transactions.
3. Card Payments
It is one of the highly convenient and fast methods for making cross-border payments. It requires an issuing bank, acquiring bank, and the vendor’s financial institution. All banks need to be connected to ensure smooth payment transactions, enabling consumers worldwide to connect effortlessly. Card payments enable consumers to easily provide their details and authorise the payment. It is important to note that costs may include foreign transaction fees or currency conversion costs, which help ensure efficient payment processing.
In cross-border transactions, cheques are one of the least preferred, as they have to cross different checkpoints that can cause delays, errors, and potential fraud, which can cause huge inconvenience. Moreover, the processing fees and also foreign exchange rates are calculated based on the countries involved, and the issuing banks.
5. Payment Gateway
The payment gateway has gained a lot of popularity for the diverse benefits it offers like the convenience it provides during transactions, simplifies the payment systems by handling the complexities of foreign exchange rates, lower transaction fees, and compliance with local regulations. Accepting multiple currencies from different locations, and security features such as fraud detection help to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions. They may also offer other value-added services, such as recurring billing, subscription management, and dispute resolution.
The payment gateway is compliant with local regulations and can provide the necessary documentation and reporting for tax and accounting. It is necessary to consider factors like fees, foreign exchange rates, and supported payment methods while selecting the right partner.
Factors driving the rise of B2B cross-border payments:
In today’s global economy, businesses require reliable and quick b2b cross-border payment solutions. There are several factors contributing to the growth of cross-border payments like faster access to funds, reduced payment risk, regulatory advancements, digital technology, modernised payments, and the establishment of fintechs rendering modern solutions to banks and other financial institutions.
Central banks across the countries have major control payment systems for instant payments and settlements. The rise in digital technology is fuelling B2B businesses to connect with more customers and adopt sales opportunities beyond borders. This trend has also enhanced the rise of online shopping across borders, impacting economic growth, bolstering the development of countries, and enhancing their GDPs.
Fintechs have decentralised payment solutions, admitting several SMEs to gain access to similar options as large enterprises. It is important to note that the combination of blockchain and AI streamlines b2b cross-border payments, automates transactions and reduces friction. Also, the factors like globalisation, e-commerce growth, digitisation, fintech innovation, regulatory changes, and economic growth are constantly fuelling the growth and prominence of businesses operating across borders.
Challenges with B2B cross-border payments
There are various factors to consider when dealing with substantial amounts of money sent and received globally, including the cost, security, processing time, and legal implications.
Several governments restrict data provision and is essential for banks to adhere to those constraints. Businesses and financial institutions in the UK and EU must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which limits data sharing. Countries like UK, Japan, and EU member states give more emphasis compared to the United States. Unauthorised dissemination of personal information can result in penalties and severe punishments in these jurisdictions.
The cross-border transaction can be frustrating and time-consuming if it has interruptions. Insufficient payment information, Anti-Money Laundering examinations, and other fraud screening measures are some of the common causes. Since foreign money transfers are not as regulated as other transactions, the solution is sometimes tough and also time-consuming. All these factors put together cause severe blocks in the process.
Due to different legal frameworks in each country, companies that expand abroad may face higher risks. Despite most developed nations following a civil law system, these systems can differ significantly from one nation to the next, which poses significant consequences for the understanding of mergers and other B2B agreements. Protection of intellectual property is one instance wherein substantial disparities between countries are evident. It is also tricky to enforce a contract’s language in domestic or international courts.
Fees & Exchange Rates
Non-cash payment systems involve additional fees, where the payees are required to incur upfront funds for currency acquisition and transaction initiation. Cross-border transactions incur higher bank costs, specifically when multiple parties are involved. Merchant banks levy the cost on buyers, whereas card issuers would charge customers for foreign currency transactions, including exchange rate fees, and more. Fluctuations in exchange rates between transaction initiation and settlement can lead to financial losses for both buyers and sellers. To mitigate this, businesses offer customers the option to use currency exchange rate aggregators during purchases.
Tax systems vary widely from nation to nation. The buyer or seller must evaluate, which taxes could be imposed on the payment in its destination country, which could influence the deal’s profitability or equity. While tax treaties have been developed to prevent double taxation, they are often country-specific, keeping the likelihood that a recipient or payee will be subject to some taxation.
Rigorous compliance checks will prevent risks like financial crime, fraud, and prohibitions for both payers and recipients. For instance, a simple case of a customer sharing a name with a person with a financial criminal history may lead to several anomalies. If payments pass through multiple domestic banking systems, additional checks may be necessary which is adding complexities even before the payment reaches an international boundary.
Unlocking the Potential: Strategies for Improving B2B Cross-Border Payments
Cross-border payment processing is vital as global trade grows, and financial inclusion attracts more individuals, contributing to global development. Banks adapt to the needs of the businesses, demanding new technology for transparency, adaptability, and cost reduction in cross-border money transfers. The need for efficient payment options globally is on the rise, where technological advancements, process improvements, and international collaborations drive progress.
These digital technologies like distributed ledger, AI, blockchain, and cloud computing combat international fraud, enhancing security for financial institutions and companies. Incorporation of third-party interfaces such as KYC and AML, along with competitive FX conversion, ensures compliance.
Growth in the B2B segment, enhancing infrastructure, streamlining processes, and reducing complexity are major factors helping the development. Switching from conventional payment methods to comprehensive payment strategies and optimised currency conversion platforms fosters positive development.
Governments are overseeing regulatory frameworks, and businesses collect customer information to meet regulations. Also, financial institutions conduct customer due diligence to comply with FATF on Anti-Money Laundering requirements, avoiding penalties. International money transfer businesses must understand cross border payments regulatory requirements and compliance standards to avoid penalties, delays, and reputational damage. By applying the essential strategies, B2B cross-border payment solutions enhance security, transparency, affordability, speed, and compliance for financial institutions. They can navigate local laws, exchange rates, and complexities, promoting financial inclusion and global development.
Navigating Cross-border Invoicing
In B2B commerce, invoices include more than just goods and service details and prices. Payment terms, such as due date, discount percentage, and tax rate, are specified in invoices. International invoices require additional considerations like accepted currency, payment method, and billing currency. Effective invoicing is crucial for complex and time-consuming cross-border B2B payments.
Key principles for invoicing clients abroad:
- Factors like price, quantity, accepted payment options, currencies, delivery, and payment deadlines are to be considered while drafting an agreement with an international client.
- Payment options like bank wires, ACH payments, credit cards, instant/real-time payments, or digital wallets are to be given prominence.
- Having a foreign bank account will reduce the need for wire transfer charges, and will give customers a domestic payment option.
- Gaining awareness of the complexity of international taxes.
- Ensuring the ERP system’s invoicing software accommodates cross-border payments.
Several countries, including Greece, and Hungary have mandated electronic invoices through government-approved platforms. VAT should be included based on domestic or international sales, often automated for efficiency. Automation, registration, and archiving of invoices help ensure tax compliance, reduce fraud, and align with common standards for seamless cross-border invoice exchange.
Several factors are taken into consideration to avoid penalties and disputes, like compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including taxation, customs, and trade regulations. Invoices should include international trade terms, shipping details, customs declarations, and necessary export or import documentation.
Exchange rates become crucial when multiple currencies are involved. To enhance transparency and ease of business, international transactions in B2B require mandatory documentation and exchange of financial information.
With over 15 years of experience in the fintech sector, Macro Global understands the intricacies of customer needs and has become a trusted partner for businesses seeking growth and efficiency. NetRemit from Macro Global is a highly secure and ISO-compliant cross border product suite designed specifically to address the challenges faced in B2B payments.
NetRemit seamlessly integrates with leading marketplace apps, facilitating essential functions such as Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, payment gateways, foreign exchange management, and payouts. NetRemit offers a comprehensive range of features and innovations that ensure a seamless experience for B2B cross-border transactions. By eliminating unnecessary intermediaries, minimising delays, and mitigating currency concerns, businesses can benefit from a quick, user-friendly, and cost-effective solution.
Contact us today at +44 (0)204 574 2433 or mail us firstname.lastname@example.org to partner with us and unleash the limitless possibilities of technology in the financial sector.
Saravanan P. Selvam, CEO of Macro Global at the Seamless Europe 2023 event- Messe-Berlin, brought forth a wealth of expertise and forward-thinking strategies, offering a comprehensive outlook on the topic...