September 2, 2016
I was recently asked, “what can consumer-to-business payments learn from business-to-business?” It’s a great question. During my conversations with journalists over the years, and what I hear being discussed in the industry, it’s usually the other way round. C2B payments are often seen as the peak of innovation, but there are areas in B2B payments, which are far more advanced. One of those areas is payment control.
FinTech’s focus on making payments as easy as possible comes with a drawback - loss of payment control. Chip and Pin was brought in to make card payments more secure. Yet today, you merely need to wave the card to make a transaction. What’s more, you have little control over transaction limits, which are set by the bank, and can be used for multiple transactions without a daily cap. Could you set a daily cap even if you wanted to?
That wouldn’t work for B2B. When it comes to travel supplier payments, control is king. It’s no wonder with thousands of transactions happening daily, across multiple regions, suppliers and channels. Travel companies want as much control as possible over their transactions to guard against misuse, protect from fraud and ensure accurate reconciliation. A lot of innovation in the B2B space is focussed on control. The best payment solutions offer unlimited user-defined reference fields so you have rich data on what was paid, when and to whom. Today’s solutions also allow travel companies to set payment parameters based on value, date range validity and even merchant category code.
For me anyway, I’d love to be able to veto which websites my family is able to use our credit card at. It might cause some a few ‘tantrums’ in the house, but it’d certainly help ease the pain I feel when I look at my statements each month.
I’ve seen some apps that help when it comes to spending discipline. But it’s clear, when it comes to payment control, consumer payments can learn a lot from B2B.