A new study from Juniper Research suggests that the B2B money transfer market is a prime target for innovation, estimated to be worth $5 trillion by 2020. It identified five core areas ripe for transformation:
- Consistency & Compliance
- Speed of transactions
- Cost reduction
- Simplification of processes
Of course a number one concern for businesses looking to move money, it’s also critical that security measures don’t get in the way of seamless transactions. Approaching this problem is all about mindset. There is a tendency to view standards as a roadblock, but what if it were viewed instead as a framework for delivering best-in-class product? If developers approach a task with high security and superior customer experience in mind, it should follow that the resulting product is a market leader. From incorporating triple layer biometrics to exploring blockchain’s potential as a fraud protection and prevention tool, security is a driver in business success rather than a hurdle.
Consistency & Compliance
Rather in the same vein as security, considering regulation as the basis for development rather than the yardstick is the foundation of superior functionality. The knee-jerk negative reaction of the more established financial providers to Open Banking is a case in point. Some saw it as doors closing to customer relationships while simultaneously being thrown wide open to less experienced competitors. More enlightened participants saw it as the potential to cast aside many of the bugbears that had dogged banking customers – poor transactional visibility, lack of banking advice, limited services. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) presents operational challenges but potentially more opportunities. Companies re-engage with dormant databases, cut wastage from databases and improve the quality of communications.
Speed of transactions
In many cases, the speed of money transfer is dictated by little more than tradition. This has changed in recent years in the B2C market through innovations such as Faster Payments but by and large, B2B money transfers remain stuck in the same rut they have trundled through for decades. Transactions take days, fees that were determined based on large amounts of admin remain, even though the capability to minimize the admin is a reality today. Through real-time reporting, payments automation and on-demand customer service, providers can now deliver the rapid payments, real-time tracking and lower cost transactions a globalized economy – even for SMEs – demands.
Cost reduction & Simplification of processes
These last two areas of potential innovation in the money transfer market go hand in hand. Cost reduction as a whole, not just in terms of transaction fees, is highly motivating to B2B customers. The traditional process of moving money is expensive across a range of resources – employee time, customer waiting time – either for remuneration or product, sundries including reams of paper from raising procurement orders, invoices and receipts, and reconciliation.
Automation and digitization of much of this activity doesn’t just cut the physical need to push paper around, it is liberating for all concerned. A digital trail is much more accurate, trackable and traceable than a paper one. Customers on either end of the transaction can follow a transaction’s progress in real time. Issues that arise can be notified and dealt with immediately and reports are generated – even analyzed using machine learning – to help users improve and grow with far fewer barriers than before. It really is a case of doing more, with less.