Streamlining the Future of Cross-Border B2B Payments Processes

The global playing field for B2B cross-border payments is intensifying.  

In a 2022 Juniper Research report, we learned that the global B2B payments environment is expected to grow by 26% from 2022 to 2027. By the end of the forecast period, the B2B payments market is projected to reach $111 trillion in total market size value.   

Both domestic and cross-border payments have key roles to play in this growth, with the cross-border payments segment quickly becoming the new fintech frontier. 

To keep up with the rapidly evolving payments landscape, your business must consider how to streamline your cross-border and B2B payment processes.  

Here are the five key steps for making your cross-border payments more efficient and cost-effective:


1. Adopt a Suitable Payment Solution

The first and arguably most important step to streamlining your cross-border payment process is to adopt and integrate the right payment solution.  

Across the cross-border payments landscape, financial service providers and fintechs have made it easier than ever to connect to sophisticated payment systems and services. This benefits businesses of all kinds but especially small-to-medium-size enterprises (SMEs) working in the B2B space that need a payment solution that is both powerful and affordable.  

In terms of finding the right payment solution for your cross-border payment needs, look for the following features: 

  • Platform Capabilities: Today’s payment landscape is dominated by platform solutions — and for good reason. Platforms typically rely on more modern technology rather than outdated legacy systems, allowing you to integrate a wider range of payment services, fraud solutions, and more. 
  • Transparency: Maintaining integrity within your payment process is vital not only for building customer trust but also for adhering to regulatory standards around the globe. Having a payment solution that offers adequate transparency can help with everything from compliance and reporting to keeping track of payments and reconciliations.  
  • Localisation: If you are conducting business abroad, the ability to send and receive payments via local clearing networks is essential. The solution you select should offer you a range of payment localisation resources, from the right correspondent banking partnerships (more on that in a bit) to a wide range of currencies for sending and receiving payments.  

Freemarket. International Payments and FX.

Psst…is your SME struggling to achieve global B2B growth? Check out our recent article on Levelling Up Your Business in 2023: Growth, Resilience, & Stability. 


2. Maximise Fraud Detection Services

Fraud is no small matter when it comes to payments — in fact, it is one of the most predominant challenges in the entire payments industry.  

According to Juniper Research, more than $41 billion (USD) was lost to incidents of fraud in 2022.  

Many businesses know the risks of common types of fraud, like card-not-present fraud and identity theft — yet, this awareness can sometimes lead to sneakier forms of fraud slipping through the cracks.  

For instance, invoice fraud is a pervasive form of fraud that can manage to go undetected for long periods without the proper fraud detection strategies in place.  

Invoice fraud (also referred to as business email compromise) occurs when cybercriminals pose as trusted suppliers — most commonly via email — and claim a need to update their banking information. These fraudsters go to great lengths to make their fake email accounts look and sound as official as possible so as not to arouse suspicion from the business they are targeting.  

After successfully getting a business to update the supplier banking information, the fraudster can kick back and relax while invoice payments are sent directly to their fraudulent account. Meanwhile, the business may not even realise what has occurred until the actual supplier comes calling for payment.  

According to a 2023 PYMNTS report, invoice fraud is estimated to cost an average of $280,000 (USD) per year for mid-market businesses, with more than 34,000 cases of invoice fraud reported annually.  

Preventing this type of fraud is especially difficult to navigate in cross-border payment scenarios, as differing time zones and regulatory standards can impact the speed with which invoice fraud is detected.  

Keeping your B2B cross-border payments protected from invoice fraud and other types of fraud is crucial. To do so, you must leverage the right mix of fraud prevention and detection tools that can assist you in addressing the complexities of fraud while simultaneously adhering to various international regulations.  


3. Phasing out Legacy Technology Platforms and Introducing AI & Automated KYC  

Speed is crucial for cross-border B2B payments — despite being a difficult feat to consistently achieve.  

By heightening your payout and reconciliation speed, you can build longer-lasting and more trusting relationships with other businesses abroad.  

SMEs in the B2B space know how vital it is to receive payments on time. However, sending timely payments that reach your international suppliers, vendors, and other partners within an agreed-upon timeframe is equally important to note.  

This is another key advantage to working with a banking-as-service provider or fintech — the ability to enhance the speed of your payout and reconciliation processes across the board, regardless of if you are sending payments domestically or internationally. 

Thinking back to the key payment features we discussed earlier, services that enable localised and transparent payments can drastically improve these processes.  

Through localisation, you can ensure currency conversions are quick and cost-effective. Meanwhile, heightened transparency can help your business keep better track of payments, allowing you to keep your partners updated on the progress of a transaction.  


4. Outsource Bank Relationship Management

One of the most difficult factors that make cross-border payments so complicated is the necessity of correspondent banks in the payment process. 

Correspondent banks can be frustrating to work with, as they can be hesitant to take on international clients without completing lengthy evaluations that impact your time to market. Additionally, you need the right domestic banking relationships to connect with correspondent banks, which can present similar challenges in finding the ideal banking provider for your business. 

Managing these relationships with both domestic and correspondent banks can take considerable time and effort on behalf of your team. Comparatively, working with a financial service provider that offers you access to existing banking relationships can eliminate this hassle almost entirely. 

Freemarket. International Payments and FX.

The right provider can offer you: 

  • Global Connections: Having access to existing banking relationships is crucial, as it enables your business to sidestep the onboarding process with banks. Moreover, your team can spend less time on bank outreach, as the necessary connections to the banks you need are already available.  
  • Relationship Management: As mentioned, relationship management with banks can be complicated. Working with a provider that facilitates these relationships for you removes this relationship management responsibility from your team’s shoulders, as fintech payment providers already have teams in place dedicated to maintaining these relationships. 
  • Transaction Routing: The right payments provider should have multiple connections to banks across the globe, making it simple to route transactions to the ideal banks and financial institutions for each payment scenario. This not only increases the speed of your transactions but also ensures that you have a higher transaction success rate as well.  


5. Enable Embedded Payments in Your Payment Process

When working to streamline your cross-border payment processing system, it is vital to consider both your back-end needs and the front-end customer experience. 

From a B2B perspective, embedded payments can significantly improve relationships with your international partners and suppliers by making the invoicing and reconciliation processes significantly faster. In many cases, embedded payments can be the key to unlocking real-time payments.  

We know what you may be thinking — embedded payments have historically been tricky to enable. 

Yet, the winds are changing in the cross-border payment space as payment technology becomes more advanced, helping both B2B and B2C organisations find easier methods for moving away from the outdated technologies that previously inhibited embedded payments.  

According to a 2022 Forbes article on the future of embedded payments: 

“Up until now, accessing the payment technology needed to embed features would require lengthy vendor-onboarding processes, addressing compliance concerns and navigating archaic technology of legacy infrastructure. Fortunately, fintech has created a new opportunity for banks looking to modernise their offerings.” 

While there are certainly still hurdles to overcome before global real-time payments can be a reality, the future is bright for embedded payments in the B2B sector.  


Streamline Your Cross-Border Payments with Freemarket

Simplifying your payment processing system has never been easier than with Freemarket. 

Our platform solution is designed specifically to facilitate cross-border payments and currency exchange, offering key solutions for reducing complexity and boosting efficiency. Partnering with Freemarket gives you the access you need to both advanced payment technology solutions and a global network of banking and non-bank financial institutional providers. 

Freemarket exercises payment precision through features such as smart routing that ensure each of your transactions is optimised according to where and when it is headed.  

Get started with Freemarket to streamline your cross-border payment process with exceptional efficiency.  





Related Readings