B2B commerce is shifting toward replacing credit cards and paper trails with digital accounts payable processes. Mastercard and Previse, Billtrust and iController, and TreviPay and Staples Canada, are recent examples of this ongoing shift in the industry to digitalize payment transactions between supplier and buyer.

Digitized payments are commonplace in retail ecommerce, where a consumer decides to make a purchase and uses their credit card or the tap of a mobile phone to complete a transaction. In the B2B world, buyers and sellers engage in more complicated transactions, though often there is an established and trusted relationship between supplier and buyer, and the transaction values are more considerable.

But now, digital payments are also becoming more commonplace in B2B ecommerce.

As COVID-19 pushed more B2B companies into ecommerce, it also accelerated the need to automate payments and simplify digital processes between suppliers and buyers. Payment companies have responded with new products and services. Buyers can use website payment applications and mobile apps to manage invoices and make payments, pay on extended terms, use a buy-now-pay-later option, keep track of digital invoicing, and manage collections.

In October, payments company Mastercard Inc. and Previse, a provider of B2B payment technology built with artificial intelligence, teamed up to provide instant payments to suppliers in more than 100 markets worldwide. The two companies have integrated Mastercard Cross-Border Services—a global “push payments” platform that lets companies send funds to any supplier’s account—with Previse’s InstantPay platform to expedite payment processing. The InstantPay platform uses machine-learning technology to analyze invoices and identify those that a buyer is likely to reject, enabling the buyer to pay the accepted invoices the same day they’re received to benefit from low transaction fees and real-time exchange rates.

Billtrust, a B2B accounts receivable automation and integrated payments company, acquired iController, a Belgium-based B2B provider of intelligent solutions for collections management, for $58 million. “Acquiring a great company like iController is consistent with our growth plan of strategic global expansion in targeted ways to broaden our customer footprint and provide extended value to our current customers,” says Flint Lane, Billtrust founder and CEO.

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In August, office supplies merchant Staples Canada started offering its in-store B2B customers a one-click mobile app from global financial technology company TreviPay. Staples Canada is using the white-label app to let business customers with pre-approved credit receive instant digital invoices and make payments using a buy-now-pay-later feature. The merchant now offers TreviPay’s app in all 305 stores across Canada, with an average credit line per user of C$6,500.

“The TreviPay mobile app has already seen strong uptake and success for our in-store B2B customers in the first few weeks post-integration,” Ian McKillop, director, retail technology and delivery at Staples Canada, said when the app was announced in August.

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