B2B Payments: The 6 Best Merchant Accounts For Online Payments, Invoices & More
Let’s say that you’ve already read a few B2B payment processing articles, such as our guide to B2B payment processing, and are pretty convinced that you should try this newfangled electronic invoicing and payment thing from the interwebs. Maybe you’ve known about the supposed benefits of B2B payment processing for a while, and the latest instance of “the check must have gotten lost in the mail” has finally pushed you over the edge to make changes.
Possibly, you’ve read our article on invoice payment and/or accounting software and learned that sometimes you can link your payment processor to these software apps, so you can send electronic invoices that your customers can pay with a push of a button. Then, your accounting software can automatically record that payment when it’s received.
All of this sounds awfully convenient. Going back to the pay-the-invoice-at-the-push-of-a-button part, you’ll need to connect to a payment processor to enable that function. So which payment processor should you consider? Read on to find our Best Of picks and see why we chose them.
Other Featured Options:
- TransferWise: Best for international money transfers.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
How We Chose The Best B2B Payments Solutions
In making our Best Of list, we found processors that can accommodate the larger credit payments typical of B2B purchases and lower your cost (using B2B MCCs and Level II and Level III data), can help you pay overseas suppliers, and can accommodate not only credit/debit cards but also echecks and ACH.
Depending on whether your business buys in large quantities and/or overseas, your B2B payments might be mostly wire transfers. These transfers are traditionally initiated from a bank, but recently, there’s been quite a few fintech companies that are trying to bypass the traditional route and solve the problem in interesting ways. We picked a few such companies and included them in our list.
We made a few assumptions when we compiled our list:
- The typical B2B payment is large and therefore would have to be done by ACH payment or wire transfer.
- Some B2B companies’ monthly credit card processing volume is very large because the per-transaction size is large (e.g., travel agencies catering to business travelers).
- Other B2B businesses tend to have very few credit card transactions because their customers usually buy in small quantities with credit cards but have larger monthly deliveries billed through invoices (e.g., office supply stores).
Given (2) and (3), it seems that your credit card processing volume is either going to be very large or very small, depending on what you sell/the service you provide.
Lastly, with any type of processing, there are per-transaction/day/week/month caps on how much you can transfer. With credit cards, these are often set by the processors or the acquiring banks. With ACH, as of March 2020, the same-day per-payment ACH limit is $100K. As of this writing, ACH is batched twice a day but will increase to three times a day on March 19, 2021. For wire transfers, there is technically no limit to the amount that can be transferred, but you might run into bank-internal or country rules and regulations that could limit the size of the transfer. Think of the typical size of your B2B payments/receipts and use that information to pick your service provider.
Now that we’ve gone over some preliminary information, let’s get started on the list itself. The companies below are in no particular order of preference.
The Best B2B Payments Companies
Because B2B payments can take many forms, small businesses need a payment processor that can accommodate different payment types. A great B2B payment system can handle credit cards as well as ACH/echeck payments and other digital payments. These six payment processors cater to the unique needs of B2B companies.
1. National Processing
We put National Processing on this list because it has one of the lowest ACH and echeck processing rates around, which, of course, we expect B2B businesses to use quite a bit. While National Processing also offers a full suite of services to B2C merchants, we’re focusing on its B2B-related services. Note, National Processing does not do international money transfers.
For payment cards, National Processing offers interchange-plus pricing. It has several tiers set up this way, with the lowest tier further subdivided into Retail, eCommerce, and Restaurant. This tier stops at $75,000 per month, and, should you be interested in this lower tier, you can find out more about it in our full review.
For high-volume merchants, National Processing offers two plans: one for merchants processing between $75,000 and $200,000 per month in card sales, and one for merchants processing more than $200,000 per month.
High-Volume Business Plan
- $59 per month account fee
- Interchange + 0% + $0.09 per transaction
- $200,000 monthly processing volume limit
Very-High-Volume Business Plan
- $199 per month account fee
- Interchange + 0% + $0.05 per transaction
- Various free hardware
For taking payment cards, National Processing charges $5/month for access to a payment gateway needed to process online payments. This is what you will need if you plan to integrate payment-at-the-push-of-a-button on your electronic invoices. National Processing doesn’t charge you a fee to help you set up the gateway.
National Processing charges separately for ACH/echeck processing, which means that you could sign up for this service only and not offer credit card payments as an option on your invoices. The company’s website shows that it charges:
- Monthly Fee: $15.00
- ACH Processing Rate: $0.48 per transaction
With National Processing, if you don’t need any free equipment when you sign up, you should be able to get a month-to-month account with no cancellation fees. Even if you do end up signing a contract with a $295 early termination fee, you wouldn’t have to pay if you close your account due to (1) sale or closure of your business, (2) National Processing can’t meet or beat a competitor’s rate, or (3) if you give National Processing a chance to meet or beat a competitor’s rate before you go to the competitor.
National Processing provides excellent customer support, so if you ever run across an issue, the reps should be able to help you resolve the problem satisfactorily.
- Interchange-plus pricing standard
- Low-cost ACH/echeck payment processing
- Offers month-to-month billing with no early termination fee (ETF)
- Good online reputation
- A good option for budget-conscious merchants
- Long-term contracts required in exchange for a free terminal
- Early termination fee charged in some circumstances
Jump back to comparison chart
2. Dharma Merchant Services
Dharma Merchant Services
Dharma gets a lot of love from us here at Merchant Maverick. Often, it’s for the company’s nonprofit rates and ethical business practices. Other times, it’s for the special B2B rates. Naturally, we’re highlighting them the company for its B2B rates. Dharma makes sense if you take domestic US B2B payments, but it does not handle international money transfers.
Getting right to the point, Dharma has an exclusive B2B program that offers discounted rates for merchants processing Level II and III data. You’ll need the MX B2B app, which costs an additional $20 per month. Depending on your average processing volume, your savings in processing charges should more than offset the cost of this extra fee.
As to the average processing volume and price tiers, Dharma breaks down its services by market segment (such as retail and eCommerce). Since this article focuses on B2B and most likely the processing charges comes in response to an electronic invoice, the closest plan Dharma offers is the eCommerce plan as follows:
Virtual (eCommerce) Rates
- $20 monthly fee
- Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10 per transaction
- Numerous incidental fees (e.g., chargebacks, etc.) — all disclosed on Dharma’s website
If your business falls within certain MCC codes, Dharma will work with you to get the discount you’re entitled to for processing under these codes. Dharma also offers another discount for large sales ($6,500+) and/or high volume monthly processing ($100k+ per month). Note, though, that these rates are for credit card sales only, and do not count towards your monthly processing volume when your customers use ACH.
As to ACH processing, Dharma’s rates are:
- $25 monthly fee
- $0.40 per transaction fee
The ACH underwriting process is different from the credit card underwriting process and can take up to 10 days to process. Additional documents might also need to be submitted. ACH payments are accessed through the MX Merchant portal, which is Dharma’s all-in-one online account access and reporting system. The portal is included with every Dharma merchant account. Features include a virtual terminal, online reporting, a customer database, a mobile processing app, and several other goodies as well. For an additional monthly fee, you can add additional options, such as invoicing, and recurring billing.
In general, Dharma uses interchange-plus pricing exclusively, and all accounts feature month-to-month billing with no early termination fees (but it will charge a one-time $25 account closure fee to cover certain administrative costs). It also has no account application fees, no annual fees, and no monthly minimums. Dharma also won’t charge you any pesky PCI compliance fees or batch fees. You can expect high-quality, friendly, personalized service and support from the Dharma team.
Lastly, and unfortunately for some, Dharma won’t take high-risk businesses, can’t handle international accounts, and those who process less than $10,000 per month won’t get the benefit of Dharma’s pricing model. For most merchants, though, it offers the best overall value of just about any provider in the industry.
- Interchange-plus pricing offered exclusively
- No annual fee or monthly minimum
- Month-to-month billing with no early termination fees
- Discounted pricing for qualified nonprofit companies
- Outstanding sales transparency and highly ethical business practices
- Not recommended for businesses processing less than $10,000 per month
- No support for high-risk international merchants
Jump back to comparison chart
3. Payment Depot
Payment Depot runs on a membership model, which means that, once you pay your monthly membership fee, you pay an interchange rate with no percentage-based markups whatsoever. Your membership covers items such as a PIC compliance fee and statement fee — items that other processors typically charge you every month on top of the processing charges. If you make a lot of B2B payment card sales, you might want to take a closer look at Payment Depot. It handles ACH processing but not international money transfers.
Payment Depot’s membership costs from $49 to $199 per month, depending on which plan you choose. Your per-transaction fee varies between $0.15 and $0.05 per transaction, depending on your pricing plan. You’ll still encounter some occasional fees that are charged by your processor and passed on to you at cost. These include any chargeback fees as well as all credit card network fees and assessments. Note, Payment Depot will charge you a monthly PCI non-compliance fee of $19.99 if you don’t keep your account in compliance.
The membership model can sometimes be tricky. You’ll have to take a close look at your average ticket size and how many transactions you typically process each month to determine if this pricing model will save you money. Our calculations show merchants who frequently process larger ticket sizes should save the most money.
For eCommerce merchants, Payment Depot can integrate a payment gateway into your website. Authorize.Net is the most popular option, but other gateways are also available. Gateway fees appear to be included as part of your monthly membership fee, but you’ll want to confirm this when you review your agreement. All of Payment Depot’s pricing plans also include a free virtual terminal that allows you to use your existing computer as a credit card terminal. Both items can be relevant to B2B businesses when taking payments through an online invoice.
Payment Depot also offers echeck/ACH processing, online shopping cart integration, and developer tools for web designers. It doesn’t disclose much information about these products on its website, so ask your sales representative about them if you’ll need them for your business.
Payment Depot has lower tiers capped at lower monthly processing volumes, but given the likelihood of B2B businesses taking larger per-transaction charges, we only present the two highest tiers below. Be sure to check out our full review for the full list of tiers and their monthly processing caps.
Best Value Membership
This membership plan is ideal for larger, more-established omnichannel businesses. It comes with the following standard features:
- $99 monthly fee
- Interchange + 0% + $0.07 per transaction
- $200,000 monthly maximum processing volume
- A virtual terminal and payment gateway included
- Countertop terminal or mobile card reader included
- Data breach protection included
- Premium/prioritized customer support included
Designed for very large businesses, this pricing plan includes all the bells and whistles you could need and offers the lowest processing rates.
- $199 monthly fee
- Interchange + 0% plus $0.05 per transaction
- Unlimited maximum processing volume
- A virtual terminal and payment gateway included
- Countertop terminal or mobile card reader included
- PIN pad included
- Data breach protection included
- Premium/prioritized customer support included
- A free terminal upgrade every two years
Payment Depot provides month-to-month billing, so you can cancel at any time.
- Transparent membership pricing
- True month-to-month billing
- No application or setup fees
- Free gateway and virtual terminal
- Good customer support
- US-based merchants only
- Not suited for high-risk merchants
Jump back to comparison chart
PaymentCloud is an eCommerce, MOTO, and high-risk specialist. If your business is a supplier of high-risk goods (such as nutraceuticals and supplements), then your business is considered high-risk too. You would have a hard time finding a processor that will work with you, so we thought it makes sense for us to include PaymentCloud as an option in this Best Of list. PaymentCloud does handle ACH/echecks, but it does not provide international money transfers.
If you need a gateway, PaymentCloud can set it up for you for free, but the gateway provider will charge you a monthly fee thereafter. PaymentCloud does supply you with a free virtual terminal. And PaymentCloud does integrate with a wide variety of shopping carts, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and 3DCart, in case you make a lot of B2B online sales.
PaymentCloud does offer ACH and echecks processing, but the company tends to set this up less frequently than for credit card payments. Note that, for extremely high-risk merchants, they often must start with only echecks to set up a payment history before they can be approved for ACH or credit card processing.
PaymentCloud currently provides no pricing information on its website, but this practice is common among merchant account providers that service the high-risk sector. Prices are highly variable and will differ from one merchant to the next because of the merchant’s and industry’s risk profiles. The processing rates and account fees you’ll incur will depend on your business type, processing history, sales volume, credit history, and other factors. The higher your business’s risk, the higher the probability that you’ll need to accept a tiered plan. Nevertheless, sometimes you can get interchange-plus pricing with PaymentCloud, so we strongly recommend that you at least ask them about this possibility because it could save you quite a bit of money.
If you are high risk (instead of just eCommerce), you’ll also likely have a monthly minimum processing charge of around $25, a strict processing limit, and a reserve account established with the acquiring bank to help mitigate your risk. Beyond this, you still won’t be charged a PCI compliance fee, annual fee, application fee, or other junk fees. High-risk merchant accounts require a more extensive underwriting and onboarding process than other businesses, so it’s particularly commendable that PaymentCloud doesn’t charge an application fee for these clients.
At this point, and especially if you are a high-risk merchant, you might want to ask if all this effort is worth it to set up credit card processing. The answer might be “no,” and that’s okay. You might want to rely solely on ACH and echecks as payment options for your invoices, and it might end up saving you more money as well as time.
PaymentCloud does have excellent customer service. You’ll have a dedicated account manager who will act as your ongoing advocate and negotiator when dealing with the back-end processor.
- High-risk specialist
- No account setup fee
- Reasonable rates and fees
- No monthly minimum for low-risk merchants
- No publicly disclosed pricing
Jump back to comparison chart
Bill.com isn’t exactly a payment processing company. Instead, it focuses on accounts payable and accounts receivable invoicing, which can be paid from the invoice through ACH and wire transfers. Bill.com doesn’t offer a full accounting feature, so to fully take advantage of Bill.com’s automation, you’ll need to integrate it into your accounting software (such as QuickBooks).
To use Bill.com, there are several pricing tiers for different degrees of access to the software. Everything is month-to-month. There are three published tiers, with a fourth Enterprise tier where you must contact the company for pricing. The three tiers cost:
- $39 per month
- $49 per month
- $69 per month
A Bill.com invoice can include a pay-with-a-credit-card option, and the company will set you up with Level III processing rates. However, the company doesn’t seem to be focused on B2B credit card payments because there’s very little information on its website about rates, the identity of its back-end processor, or if you can sync the account to your own credit card processor.
Bill.com’s B2B payment strength is in ACH and wire transfers. On top of the monthly account fee, ACH is $0.49 per transfer, which typically takes two to five days to fund. You can pay an extra fee of $9 for same-day transfer, but that transfer is capped at $25K (Note this used to be the old ACH same day per transfer cap, so this may have changed to $100K because the cap has recently changed). You can also make echecks through Bill.com, and that costs $0.49 per check. You can send ACH out as a payment option on your invoices, but be aware that ACH is for domestic US payments only.
You can make international wire transfers through Bill.com to over 130 countries. If your funds are paid out in local currency, then the transfer costs $0, but if you want to pay in USD, then each transfer costs $9.99. There’s no upper limit on the amount for wire transfers, but for very large amounts, the transfer may take up to two days. Additionally, payments made in USD might be subject to additional charges from intermediary banks, for which Bill.com has no control, so it would be difficult to predict how much your international vendor ends up receiving. Vendors will receive the full amount if paid in local currency. Wires are available for accounts payable only.
Since there’s a set monthly charge for a Bill.com account, it might not make sense to set one up with them if you only pay or receive a few invoices through ACH or wire transfer. While it seems like a good deal that each ACH payment only costs $0.49, you have to factor in the at least $39 that you’re also paying each month for access, so each payment actually costs more.
- Impressive feature-set
- Reasonable ACH and international wire transfer charges
- Numerous accounting integrations
- Suited for medium and large businesses
- Ample reports
- A potentially expensive monthly cost
- Poor customer support
Jump back to comparison chart
If your B2B payments are mostly international, you might want to consider TransferWise as your payment provider. Unlike Bill.com, which is the only other provider that can make international transfers in this Best Of section, TransferWise costs nothing to set up and is available on a pay-per-use basis. Depending on how many transfers you average per month and the amount of the transfer, TransferWise might be a better fit for your business’s needs.
One thing of note, though, is that TransferWise only handles international payments. If you take a lot of domestic US ACH payments or credit card payments, you might want to supplement TransferWise with a merchant account provider for the ACH and card payment services.
TransferWise works on an interesting concept. It’s set up its own accounts with various banks in different countries. When you make a transfer through TransferWise from country A to country B, and you deposit money into TransferWise’s country A account, TransferWise pays your recipient from its country B account. So instead of going through the traditional international money transfer route via SWIFT, TransferWise basically has its private network for transferring money. All it does is make an internal ledger entry, and the money is “transferred.” Its network currently exists in 80+ countries, and you can even deposit and hold your money with TransferWise like you hold your own money in a bank in 50+ currencies.
Because of this business model, TransferWise’s international transfer charges are far lower than traditional bank wire transfer charges. Additionally, you can pay out in an exact amount without unexpected charges made by middlemen banks when you do an international transfer.
The following are TransferWise’s charges:
- Create An Account: Free
- Send Money: A fixed fee that varies by currency ($1.40 in USD)
- Hold 50+ Currency Balances: Free
- Get Bank Details To Receive Currencies: $31 (one-time fee)
- Receive Money In EUR, USD, GBP, AUD & NZD: Free
- Add Money To Account: Varies by currency and exchange rate (there’s a small Transferwise fee too)
- Convert Currencies: Varies by currency and exchange rate (there’s a small Transferwise fee too)
The recipient of the payment doesn’t have to have a Transferwise account — the money goes directly into their bank account.
TransferWise can integrate with QuickBooks, Xero, and Free Agent and do batch payments, including automating such payments, through its open API. You can send different currencies in the same batch.
There are upper limits on how much you can send each time, but these often depend on currency and the banks’ own rules. You can work around the limitations by sending several smaller payments over several days or talk to the bank to increase the limit. If you send a large amount of money, TransferWise will ask to verify your ID before approving the transaction, and the approval can take a couple of days. Fortunately, the approval can be obtained beforehand, so be sure to keep this in mind if you have a large upcoming transfer. TransferWise also allows your recipient to get an exact amount, despite fluctuating exchange rates, and there are several ways the company offers to do this.
If you do a lot of business overseas, such as importing a lot of goods for reselling, TransferWise might be a good payment option for you.
- Easy online account setup
- No minimum transfer amount
- Low, transparent fees
- Offers mid-market exchange rates with no markup
- Robust transfer funding options
- Excellent customer service
- No local cash pickup option
Jump back to comparison chart
Looking For One Of These Names?
Below are some payment companies that didn’t make our Best Of list, but we still think they are worth mentioning. Read on to learn why.
Fattmerchant makes our various Best Of lists a lot, so it might be a little surprising that it didn’t this time. This has to do with its à la carte pricing and how quickly this can balloon for B2B users. We’ll explain below.
Fattmerchant offers membership (also called subscription-based) pricing, eliminating the percentage markup over interchange in exchange for a higher monthly subscription fee. Account fees are also consolidated into a single monthly fee, making your costs more stable and predictable. Fattmerchant has a two-tier membership — one for those that process less than $500K/year at $99 per month and one for those that process over $500k/year at $199 per month.
To get the best deal out of Fattmerchant’s pricing model, generally, the more you process in your tier, the more money you save. So if you process close to $500K per year or significantly more than $500K per year, you might be able to save a lot of processing fees by working with Fattmerchant. However, these are just card payments, so if your current business customers pay you mostly by check and you’re hoping they switch to ACH, you might not reach anywhere near the sweet spot where it makes sense to get a merchant account with Fattmerchant.
If going with Fattmerchant still makes sense, with your membership for card-not-present transactions, you get access to a virtual terminal with no added cost. The virtual terminal also gives you access to a customer database, invoicing, and inventory management features. If you don’t want a full shopping cart but need an easy way to accept payments online, the virtual terminal plan allows for a very basic website payments feature, hosted by Fattmerchant.
You can send invoices from Fattmerchant’s mobile app or the virtual terminal. The invoicing feature syncs with your customer database and item catalog to fill in key details. You can even set recurring invoices and see your scheduled invoices at a glance. Nevertheless, Fattmerchant’s invoicing feature is bare-bones, but it will get the job done. If you want the ability to require down payments, set up installments, or anything more advanced, you might be better served by an alternative service.
For ACH transactions, Fattmerchant charges a $49 monthly fee and a $0.25 fee per transaction. This is in addition to your credit card processing membership, so if you want to do both, your monthly costs can add up fairly quickly. Most other processors have a lower monthly fee but a higher per processing transaction fee. Whether the Fattmerchant pricing works better for your business depends on how many ACH transactions you expect every month.
To illustrate how Fattmerchant’s costs can balloon quickly, here’s an example. Fattmerchant offers its core services (terminals, the virtual terminal, mobile POS, shopping cart, integrations, and the API) on an à la carte basis. (Secondary features, such as invoicing and inventory, do overlap because they’re included as part of the Omni platform.) If you want to take in-person payments as well as have a virtual terminal for invoicing and manual entry of transactions, you’ll pay $99 per month for each service, bringing your costs up to $198 per month plus transaction fees for merchants processing less than $500,000 annually. And if you want ACH processing as well, add $49 per month on top of that. So be careful. All the services can add up very quickly. Depending on your business’s needs, Fattmerchant’s pricing can quickly become non-competitive, at least for B2B transactions.
This is why we think you need to be a little cautious when considering Fattmerchant as a B2B payments provider.
Payline Data is an interchange-plus payment processor that normally rates very high in our reviews. We’ve moved them to this secondary section mostly because, while Payline does provide services such as ACH and recurring billing/invoicing, it hasn’t disclosed much on its website. You’ll have to contact them to learn about this information.
Payline Data offers its proprietary Payline Gateway, a fully-featured payment gateway for processing online transactions. The gateway includes various features, such as recurring billing, electronic invoicing, and a customer information vault to store your customers’ payment method data. A virtual terminal is included in the gateway but costs an extra $10/month to access. For B2B companies, this won’t be optional since the invoicing functionality is rolled under the virtual terminal. ACH payments are also controlled by the gateway, and Payline does provide you with a hosted webpage for your customers to access and pay, all while staying on the safe side of PCI compliance.
For credit card payments through online invoicing, Payline charges:
- Interchange + 0.3% + $0.20 per transaction
However, note that the company does have a $25 minimum charge if you don’t process more than $1,500 per month.
We think Payline provides good value for small to mid-sized businesses. But if your B2B customers tend to charge items with large ticket sizes and you have a lot of such customers, Payline might be a less favorable option because you’ll end up paying a lot more through its pricing structure. You might be better served looking at other processors. So make sure you consider your monthly sales volumes before deciding on Payline Data.
We looked into Transpay but didn’t think the company fit our Best Of list for a number of reasons. First, Transpay seems to be designed for larger businesses with more than $1M cross-border payouts per year, which may or may not be applicable to small to medium-sized businesses. Unless you can hire a developer to integrate the API to your software, you’ll have to use Transpay’s website or the Batch Send feature to pay out, and this might be an extra step that’s too time-consuming for small to medium-sized businesses.
Transpay does payouts only. While it does send domestically within the US, the company seems to mostly focus on international payments for B2B only (no P2P). On the international payouts, it uses its own private network in 140+ countries for direct-bank transfers, thereby bypassing middlemen banks that will add an extra and somewhat unpredictable fee to the transferred amount. In addition to depositing directly into the recipient’s bank account, the money can also be deposited into a mobile wallet or be prepared for cash pickup.
Mastercard recently purchased Transpay, so at least you know that it’s not a fly-by-night outfit. On the other hand, Mastercard might also have imposed more stringent rules on Transpay. On the company’s website, you’ll find a list of prohibited businesses it won’t work with, and that list looks very much like a typical credit card high-risk businesses list. Finally, Transpay doesn’t publish its pricing on its website, so we don’t know how competitive it is in pricing.
You may have heard of Xoom as an app for transferring money internationally. PayPal owns the service, so you know that it won’t take your money and disappear. However, the service is also limited to person-to-person, so businesses can’t use Xoom to send money. That’s why we do not list PayPal/Xoom in our Best Of list.
Your Bank’s Online App
Banks traditionally can perform wire transfers for a fee. These days, you can set up a transfer online at your convenience without having to run to the bank. However, each bank works differently, so some will have caps on how much you can transfer if you set up the transfer online. They also charge differently, and most will cost more than the companies listed in our Best Of list. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that if you don’t do B2B international payments very often, your bank remains a good option.
In addition to international payments, on a smaller scale, and if you’re a very small business, you could also pay your supplier or vendor bills through your bank’s online app. Typically, these will be sent using the “billpay” option via ACH or eCheck, and sometimes you can use the Zelle service if your bank is a member bank.
How To Choose A B2B Payment System
B2B payment systems vary greatly, and what you need for your business mostly depends on how you do business and your payment volumes. Do you have a lot of suppliers and vendors that you pay out to? What are the volumes and frequency of these payouts? Is your business mostly wholesale, and your customers are also businesses? Or maybe your business is a software services provider that provides enterprise-level software (such as inventory management)? What are your volumes and typical ticket size on that? The way you’ll choose the best B2B payment system will depend on how you answer these questions.
From an accounts receivables standpoint, if your customers are mostly businesses that expect to get an invoice from you and pay from that invoice, then you might want to look at the credit card processors above. With them, your customers get a choice of credit card payment or ACH payment but note that credit card payments get expensive if the volume goes up and ACH payments can be used only for domestic US payments.
From an accounts payables standpoint, these tend to be bigger ticket items than your receivables because you’re buying raw materials or making large wholesale purchases. Some of these purchases can be six or seven figures, but you might only make one or two per supplier per year. You’re less likely to use credit cards to make such purchases, and your supplier might be overseas. In this case, your only option would be a wire transfer.
As to other practical issues, the first is, of course, cost. If you’re thinking of using one of the credit card processors, figure out how you might be able to direct/encourage your customers to pay you by ACH instead of paper checks. If this is possible, then focus on the processor’s ACH pricing and make that cost comparison for yourself. If you use mostly wire transfers, do the same — compare the prices first.
In addition to price, don’t forget reliability/stability. The only types of payments we’ve recommended here are payment cards, ACH, and wire transfer — all of which are tried and true payment methods subject to multiple layers of security. Direct payments from electronic wallets (e.g., paying freelancers for an article or two) probably isn’t the best way to go when you’re working with typical B2B payment volumes.
Lastly, consider if it’s convenient for you to use these payment methods. If you have a lot of outbound invoices, then maybe it would be important to integrate these methods into a specialized invoicing software or accounting software so that you can invoice in large batches. If, however, you make only occasional international payments to overseas suppliers, but the amount could be in the six or seven figures each payment, then maybe the lack of automated payments isn’t a deal-breaker.
Know your business’s needs first. Everything will be clear afterward.
5 Tips To Make Sure Your New B2B Payments Setup Runs Smoothly
As with any new software/service that’s supposed to make your life easier, once you’ve played with it for a bit, you’ve got to settle down and see how you can integrate the new items into your existing workflow. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:
- Connect it to your invoicing software and set up follow-up reminders. If you already invoice your customers electronically, be sure to display the credit card/ACH payment choices prominently, so your customers can pay with a click of a button. Also, make sure you send follow-up reminders in case these customers like to wait to pay. This way, once you prepare and send your invoices, everything afterward is automated to save you time.
- Take advantage of accounting software integrations. Be sure to integrate your invoicing software to your accounting software if the accounting software doesn’t already come with invoicing functionalities. This way, once your customer pays, the payment is automatically captured by your accounting software, saving you the time of manually enter the data.
- Send invoices out quickly. Once you finish a project, send the invoice out right away. Don’t wait until the end of the month or your typical billing cycle. This way, you don’t forget to send the invoice, and you can get paid faster than if you wait for the billing cycle.
- Control payouts to take advantage of cash flow. Some accounting or invoicing software will give analytics on cash flow so that you can see a real-time snapshot of your business’s finances. With such data, you can take advantage of early payment discounts or delay the payment, depending on your cash flow of the moment. Taking advantage of real-time data and intelligently paying out or withholding money can save you more money.
- Review your needs periodically to ensure sure you’ve optimized. As with adding anything new to your process or workflow, you’ll need to periodically assess how effective your new tools are in saving you time and money. After you’ve set up your new invoicing and payment process, don’t forget to take another look in six months to a year to see how much time this has saved you. Tweak the process if necessary, to save you even more time.
Modernizing B2B Payments Will Benefit Your Bottom Line
Running a business is a complex task, and sometimes you can lose days just fixing little glitches here and there. To be more efficient, automate as many tasks as possible, which frees you to do other tasks, such as figuring out how to increase your sales or expand into new types of markets.
With today’s technology, automated billing and payment software are available and can help you save a lot of time. It won’t be easy to automate — you’ll have to get used to new software, a new process flow, deal with new vendors, and probably train new people to operate the software. Throughout all this, hopefully, you’ll have selected the right payment processor that gives you a great price while providing you with everything you need to encourage your customers to pay quickly and easily. In the end, all this should be worth it and save you time. And time, as everyone knows, is money.
Have you recently automated your B2B payments flow? Is it fully or partially automated? Which processor did you go with, and are you happy with their services? Has all the trouble you went through been worth it? Share your thoughts with us below!
In Summary: The Best B2B Payments Companies
- National Processing: Best for low ACH and echeck processing rates.
- Dharma Merchant Services: Best for domestic US B2B payments.
- Payment Depot: Best for a membership pricing model.
- PaymentCloud: Best for high-risk businesses.
- Bill.com: Best for a one-stop-shop for all your domestic and international money transfer needs.
- TransferWise: Best for international money transfers.