Removing COVID Friction In B2B Payments

B2B Payments Post-COVID

For many manufacturers, the COVID-19 pandemic has rewritten every facet of the business—including payments. As Pymnts.com reports, once the pandemic hit, “corporate buyers needed clearer understandings of their payment obligations and greater control over their payment timelines to better respond to the cash flow strains the economic disruption caused. These insights can be difficult — if not impossible — to gather when using manual, paper-based processes.”

In other words, COVID-19 has added friction to the payments process at many organizations.

Here are the 3 friction points we hear about most often—and what you can do about them.

1. Your customer’s A/P department is struggling to keep up with paper-based processes

With the accounts payable (A/P) department working from home, or possibly on rotating furloughs, your customer’s payments process may be disrupted. Whether customers are buying more or less due to the pandemic, they may be struggling to keep up with paper processes for payments.

Here’s where a self-service portal for invoice payments makes life easier. If the portal includes real-time SAP integration, as Corevist Bill Pay does, then your customer doesn’t have to juggle paper documents or mail out paper checks. Instead, they get real-time data in the B2B web portal for credit status, invoice status, open items, and full account history—plus the ability to select and pay down invoices with your preferred payment methods (e.g. credit/debit card, ACH transfer, eCheck, and more).

2. Your customers can’t get real-time credit status

Payments and credit status don’t only touch your customer’s A/P department. They also affect ongoing procurement operations. If a customer’s credit is at or near the limit, and crucial orders are going to go on credit block, the customer needs to know.

With your A/R department working from home (or on rotating furloughs), your customers may not have the immediate phone/fax/email access to credit status which they relied on before the pandemic. How can you give them this information in the midst of COVID disruption?

Here, again, a self-service portal for account management makes life easier. With real-time SAP integration, the portal can display real-time credit status to the logged-in customer, straight from SAP. That eliminates any fear or uncertainty as to their account standing—and with self-service invoice selection and e-payments, the customer is empowered to get their account off credit block and go on placing orders.

3. Your customers need a way to pay down invoices online

If your customer’s A/P staff are working from home, they may not have the usual tools for processing payments via paper check. Depending on the reliability of their home laptop’s VPN connection to their ERP, they may also have reduced visibility into open invoices.

In a word, both steps of the A/P process have become more difficult—both knowing what invoices to pay down, and actually paying them.

A web-based payments portal solves both issues. A portal that interacts with SAP in real time (like Corevist Bill Pay) provides total visibility into invoice status and history. With a payment gateway integrated, the portal can accept payments via your preferred methods—and post transactions to SAP instantly.

That way, your customers get total transparency into credit status and invoice history, and they have the power to maintain their accounts through self-service.

Moving forward: FREE case study

Want to see a self-service B2B portal in real life? Download this case study on Blount International. You’ll learn how this leading agricultural manufacturer launched Corevist for their B2B online portal, expanded to multiple geographies and brands, and grew online sales 325%.

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FREE Case study: Blount International

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About Author

George Anderson

George serves as Digital Marketing Manager. A blogger and journalist with a passion for B2B ecommerce, he has written for the Magento blog, Digitalcommerce360, Supply & Demand Chain Executive, ERPgenie, and others.