Today, the cross-border B2B payments market is a burgeoning one, at $130 trillion. With banks routing over 90 percent of cross-border payments, how does a software provider such as yourself control the payment experience? And why would you want to?
Put simply, your customers’ payment experiences — like any experience with your business — should be seamless and mutually beneficial. Achieving these two keys to success is too tall a task when you lack control over these experiences. Control matters.
Get more with ACH transfers
Even with a high-functioning accounts payable platform incorporated into your B2B payments process, you can’t control what occurs, from an FX perspective, as soon as the payment leaves said system and is routed to the recipient. It’s likely that your bank has leveraged the SWIFT network to route the payment. Imagine your customer from the UK is paying you, a US company, $100. The payment moves through the bank’s channels and on the other end, only $80 shows up in your account, as each correspondent bank along the way collects a percentage of the payment.
However, if the payment had been routed via ACH (local payment route), the recipient (you) would see $100 in your account at the end of the process. The margin that would’ve otherwise been the banks’ is now yours to do with what you please, and you didn’t need to overcharge your customer to compensate for cross-border fees. Controlling the payment not only creates a better experience for your customer (because their full amount has made it to you) but also benefits your bottom line, as you’ve received the exact amount you’ve requested and can pass savings along to your customers.
Even in the case where you’re the payer, and not the recipient, this remains true. By using local payments instead of an expensive wire, your customer would see a full payment from you. For instance, if you’re paying a developer or designer $100 for their work, it’d significantly impact their experience should they expect this $100 and end up with $80 (and for no reason other than the funds moving through the SWIFT network!). Controlling this experience, regardless of where you fit into the payment, is a benefit to your business.
Meet customer needs, now
Let’s examine the latter instance further. Owning the cross-border payment process would change your value proposition. You’d be able to say to whoever your recipients are (your customers) that you’ve teamed up with a provider to make sure those people are paid in full, all at one time, and in the case of local payments, with zero deductions for conversion fees.
An additional benefit of controlling your customers’ experience is that you can actually participate in the margin that you recover by using a provider. If you can still give your customers a cut of that savings, and take some to add to your bottom line, why not? You’ve worked hard for those customers, and the margin should be yours to own.
See beyond the veil
Finally, controlling the experience can benefit your depth of reporting, such that you can share as much information with your customer about the payment’s status as you like. When a payment takes place outside of your ecosystem, this option is not available, and the customer experience may be full of friction due to this lack of transparency. Switching to a cross-border payments provider that allows you to own the experience gives your customers confidence in the process, should you want to offer it.
To recap, there are truly three ways that owning the customer payment experience can benefit your bottom line:
- Increase to your unique selling proposition
- Participation in the recouped margin
- Increased depth of reporting
In addition to these three key benefits, there are also the more standard business issues that are solved by owning the customer’s payment experience:
- Your customer stays within your ecosystem, which offers them a stronger relationship with your brand and a better, more seamless experience overall.
- Business users want to be treated like consumers. Consumer payments have moved beyond pushing customers out of a system in order to pay, and are seamless. Business users expect the same. You can meet their expectations.
- Your lowered cost and the efficiencies gained via controlling this experience mean you can increase margin more easily, in this one area: foreign exchange.
With all of this in mind, how do you move forward, toward controlling the payments experience for your customer? Get in touch with us today to uncover where you can save, create efficiencies, and help your customers get their full payments with more transparency.