What are the main payment methods in B2B e-commerce?

Learn everything you need to know about the most popular payment methods for B2B webshops and marketplaces.

The growth of B2B e-commerce has been unprecedented in recent years as the advantages of e-commerce become increasingly hard to ignore. The Covid-19 pandemic has only served to accelerate this trend, with more and more B2B companies forced to reevaluate their sales strategies and start selling online. 

As the business world increasingly moves into the digital world, it’s more important than ever for your company to have a strong e-commerce presence. But to succeed in online sales, you need to make the online purchasing experience as convenient as possible for customers. 

Today’s B2B buyers want a seamless checkout experience with payment terms that fit their needs. They will naturally purchase goods and services from companies that offer their favored payment methods and flexible terms. 

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is the most popular payment method in the B2B sector and has been for some time now. Buyers are familiar with these solutions from offline B2B transactions and B2C e-commerce and want the same flexibility when shopping online for their company.

Special features for payment methods in B2B

Payment processes are significantly more complex in B2B than in B2C. In B2B, transactions have lengthy approval and settlement times, often taking days or even weeks, whereas B2C payments are usually processed immediately. There are several reasons for this.

Different responsibilities

Typically, the person who purchases on behalf of a company differs from the entity who pays for the purchase. This reality often results in B2B purchases taking more time. For example, if a buyer can only pay by credit card, but they don’t have the company’s credit card details, they cannot complete the purchase. 

High invoice amounts

B2B basket sizes and invoice amounts are usually significantly larger than individual private consumers. On average, the shopping baskets in B2B have four digits, whereas B2C has three digits. 

This has implications for the choice of payment methods and the design of the payment methods themselves. For example, a purchase with a credit card is expensive in absolute terms due to the high fees. On the other hand, for example, offering invoice payments comes with additional complexities due to larger shopping baskets.

Diversity of corporate structures

Another factor that further complicates B2B payments is that B2B companies work with various company structures – from AG and GmbH to public institutes and individual entrepreneurs. 

Today, B2B webshops must master the ability to offer invoice payments to as many as 14 different types of companies or legal forms. This presents B2B webshops with the challenge of user identification and risk management for fraud prevention and credit risk. 

The opportunity for B2B web shops and marketplaces

B2B webshops and marketplaces that offer BNPL in their checkout benefit from significantly happier shoppers, which results in higher conversion rates and sales.

Businesses can now also enjoy a competitive advantage as only 45% of webshops currently offer payment by invoice in their checkout, despite 95% of B2B buyers wanting this payment method.

B2B payment meathods broken down

B2B payment methods at a glance

Buy Now, Pay Later solutions

Invoice payment

In the case of invoice payment, an order is sent first and paid for later. The invoice, including the amount and the specified payment period, is sent to the buyer by email or post. Because payment delays and defaults can occur, it’s crucial to have good risk management or cede the risks to another party.

Advantage: Financial leeway for buyers. Invoices can be paid flexibly within the specified payment period.

SEPA direct debit

With a SEPA direct debit, customers can also buy first and pay later. Buyers enter their bank details at the checkout and give direct debit authorization for a one-time or regular amount.

Advantage: Low risk of missed payments. The invoice amount is always withdrawn from the specified account on time for the payment period.

Installment payment

When purchasing in installments, buyers receive their order before they pay for it. Payments are made in several installments, with the amounts and intervals determined in advance.

Advantage: Simple financial planning for buyers. The buyer can pay the invoice in smaller amounts over an extended period.

Other payment methods

Credit card

Companies can use a credit card to make purchases within a specified credit limit. Payment authorization is completed by entering a PIN. At the end of the month, a company receives a credit card statement with an amount that must be paid.

Payment in advance

When purchasing in advance, orders are paid for directly with the amount debited from the account within a few days. The account must cover the purchase amount at this time.

PayPal

Buyers can pay using Paypal’s online payment system via their customer account linked to a credit card or bank account. Payments are processed via Paypal with the amount debited within a few days. Paypal promises security for both sides.

Easily offer the most popular BNPL payment methods in your B2B checkout with Mondu

Taking the complexity out of B2B payments is easy with Mondu’s BNPL solutions. Enjoy easy integration, increase sales and drive your online business growth. 

Bonus: In addition to the most popular payment methods, Mondu also takes care of accounts receivable management for you so you can focus on growing your business.

For marketplaces: Generate additional revenues with Mondu’s BNPL payments.

Learn more about our monetization opportunities here: request a demo

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