In the 2022 AFP Electronic Payments Survey Report, organizations’ major business customers utilize a range of payment methods with 54% citing that the speed of payment is a significant driver in the adoption of digital payment methods.
With the frenetic pace of globalization, technological development, changing consumer trends, and outdated regulatory frameworks, the speed of payments is even more vital in the B2B cross-border payments industry.
While these changes are still (and will continue) playing themselves out, it pays to be prepared.
To be clear, “early adoption” isn’t just about switching from paper checks and costly wire transfers to electronic payments systems. Though that’s part of it.
It’s about investing in the ability to enable customers, vendors, and suppliers throughout the world to pay the way they want to while streamlining back-office operations and optimizing cash management.
“In 2021, the global trade value of goods exported throughout the world amounted to approximately 22.3 trillion U.S. dollars at current prices.”
In 2021, exports of goods and services stood at 29 percent of the global GDP . Moreover, for 50 countries, exports of goods and services made up more than 50 percent of their 2021 GDP .
The following chart shows the trends in global export value of trade in goods from 1950 to 2021 .
Clearly, if your company is to continue growing, you need the ability to go global. The problem is, when you cross borders, especially in emerging markets, B2B cross-border payments—among other things—become more complicated.
Not only do you face region-specific regulations, but payment technologies and customer preferences are vastly different throughout the world.
Plus, there are large segments of unbanked consumers throughout the world that traditional payments leave out.
To illustrate how payment preferences vary across the world, the chart below lists several countries based on their most highly preferred payment methods .
Keep in mind, when you drill down and look at—for example—eCommerce, these payment preferences vary even more. For example, in China, 54 percent of e-commerce transactions are conducted through digital wallets  even though cards issued by local banks are generally preferred for other transactions.
Traditional payment options such as checks, SWIFT and wire transfers, and ACH payments, are simply too inflexible to provide consumers and businesses with the payment experiences they want.
Until recently, to move funds across borders you had to work with banks. Now, you can build your own custom products with APIs from fintech companies.
The real breakthrough, though, is that you don’t even have to build your own products anymore.
With turnkey payment solutions, the necessary infrastructure is already there for you. That means any corporation can “plug in” to this global financial infrastructure that fintechs throughout the world are building.
From there you can use white-label apps and web-based payment solutions to create the same kind of payment experiences consumers have come to expect from the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google. And the cost and complexity of doing so makes it economically accessible for a wide range of companies.
Plus, you can use these tools for payments with both your customers and vendors.
In the next section, we’ll review the many opportunities, both in terms of growing your business and making it more efficient, that these custom payment products and turnkey solutions create.
One of the world’s leading boutique travel marketplaces had a payments problem.
They needed to collect money from guests in Europe, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States. And they needed to send money to the hosts of those guests.
For those hosts to make each booking more profitable, they needed better FX rates. So the marketplace worked to create a single solution platform that enabled the client to accept customer payments and send payments globally to the hosts.
Since the platform—a blend of API integrations and cloud-based software—sped up payments so much, hosts got better FX rates.
In turn, more new hosts signed up for the marketplace. And with that, travelers had a larger number of competitive options to choose from.
In the end, a modern payments platform created a virtuous cycle of more valuable experiences for guests, hosts, and the marketplace itself.
New ways to send and receive money across borders aren’t just arriving. They’re already here. And for now, these technologies present an incredible opportunity for businesses who take the time to understand and implement them strategically.
Of course, this isn’t just about throwing technology at the problem. Deploying your new payments playbook successfully will require strategic planning and internal alignment.
But as globalization grows, B2B payments infrastructures evolve, and consumer preferences change, your payments strategy must grow, evolve, and change.
Fortunately, the ingredients for a resilient, future-proof payments strategy have arrived and will continue to evolve
Speed and flexibility anywhere in the world. Leveraging the Nium platform, you can reduce or avoid B2B cross-border payments fees, automatically reconcile international payments, improve liquidity, send and receive payments in your preferred payment method, and avoid the cost and inconvenience of wire transfers. And Nium’s Open Money Network makes this possible for all businesses, small and large, with a suite of flexible solutions built to suit your needs.
Offering a complete solution with flexible revenue models. Nium works with enterprise companies to implement innovative solutions that bridge the gaps in today’s fragmented global financial infrastructure. The Nium platform is a single access point that brings together real-time B2B cross-border payments, inbound payments, FX management, and Visa card issuance.
Fast and easy to get started. Businesses can access Nium’s B2B payment technology at scale with both turnkey, cloud-based solutions and a flexible set of APIs. Options include integrating with your existing stack, creating a new product from scratch, or using our turnkey cloud-based interface, white-label apps, and web-based payment solutions.