Is B2B payment innovation starting to gather more pace?



The complexity of the B2B payments environment has been ripe for digital transformation but with banks only making incremental improvements to corporate transactions. Some of the biggest developments have been made by fintech startups with instant, real-time, cross-border payments. In Europe alone new players have to be compatible with systems such as instant SEPA credit transfers in Euros, EBA Clearing’s RT1 and Eurosystem’s TARGET Instant Payments Service. Technological advancement and new regulation have created opportunities for paytech companies that are delivering value to businesses by breaking free of previous constraints. With new product launches and investments being seen over recent months we asked Currencycloud co-founder Stephen Lemon why B2B payment innovation is gathering more pace.

“The payments industry has seen massive innovation and disruption over the last five years and consumers are already reaping the benefits. However, the benefits to the business world have been slower to materialise. But it was only a matter of time before consumer innovation in payments reached businesses through innovative fintech solutions and cooperation with banks.

“Emerging technology, Open Banking, regulatory change, and a belief among entrepreneurs that finance can be done better, has allowed third parties to create services that directly benefit business and compete for banks’ customers. For example, Currencycloud enables intermediaries to provide services to businesses to avoid some of the charges associated with international payments whilst delivering speed and transparency that the banks can’t offer.

“To date the industry and its progress has been predominantly about using digital services and apps to do traditional banking, wealth management and savings better.

“While these financial services have been much improved, they still existed in isolation, unintegrated into other services and sectors.

“Embedded finance will be the next stage in the evolution of fintech. Payments, wallets and banking-like services will become an integral part of internet-led companies spanning all aspects of the global economy – from health to retail, transport, media, property, and energy. By positioning products and solutions closer to the customer in this way, fintech businesses will be privy to an intimate level of insight that can be used to deliver a more personalised and seamless experience for business and consumer customers alike.

“This trend will undoubtedly ramp up, with fintech becoming embedded in the technology stack of the most valuable next-generation companies. While the Big Tech companies like Apple, Google and Uber, are currently leading the charge in the development of the embedded space, we need more entrants for the health of the market – competition ensures that this new paradigm will live up to its promise of delivering better customer experience.

While some end-user tech companies may choose to build out their own money services, others will be deterred by the burden of regulation, infrastructure and operations that exist in finance. Partnerships are imperative for banks and fintechs with ambitions of winning in this new embedded world.”

Breaking through technical and cultural boundaries to transform best payments practices is not just saving money and time for companies who already rely on these services, but also opening up completely new opportunities for firms wanting to expand into new countries. Paytech is creating new revenue streams for SME’s and increasing financial inclusion especially for smaller enterprises who before could not afford the risk associated with cross-boarder B2B payments.


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