Embedded Finance: UK’s MarketFinance Explains How to Enhance Customer Experience on B2B Platforms

UK-based MarketFinance notes that while consumer apps have undergone major digital transformation over the past decade, many B2B experiences have “remained largely offline and clunky.”

MarketFinance writes in a blog post that they have “grown used to consumer experiences being unlocked with a few taps, and payments settling seamlessly behind the scenes with increasingly more ways to pay.” With business transactions most things “still happen with PDF invoices via email, or even over the phone.”

MarketFinance also noted that there are many reasons for this: “business transactions are significantly larger than consumer ones and many businesses need to keep track of what is being sold or purchased, and want invoices to be reconciled to payments for audit purposes.” The firm pointed out that many business relationships “are more personal, with intermediaries like distributors helping suppliers find and manage their buyer base.”

However, the Coroanvirus crisis “has accelerated the digital adoption of many B2B relationships.” Suppliers and buyers now “realize they can find, engage and transact with each other entirely online.”

As mentioned in a blog post, there is “a growing number of B2B vertical marketplaces, from food and drink, to building materials, to fashion and engineering services.” Although relatively small now, these marketplaces are “cutting out the friction involved with much business purchasing and will grow substantially in the next 5 to 10 years.”

So if you’re “selling to other businesses,” MarketFinance looks into how can you optimize your online platform “to make the most of the latest technology available.”

The firm pointed out that these days, you can “find out everything about your customers online.” According to MarketFinance, it is important “to ensure you’re onboarding and tracking who you work with in a systematic way.” This is “especially relevant if you want to take payments online.” Many B2B platforms “still don’t integrate a proper onboarding process to collect key information or background checks on their business customers and the key people who work there.”

The firm added that the authentication of your clients “allows you to cut out fraudsters and time-wasters, while building a deeper knowledge of what your customer demographic will want when it comes to delivery, payments and special promotions.”

The company also noted that “many B2B platforms allow you to make an order online, but then the payment experience gets shunted offline to email or telephone contact points.” Offering an online checkout page will “increase the speed of transactions and allows you to own more of the experience.” This is even more powerful “if you’re a B2B marketplace looking to connect sellers and buyers and want to keep control of the end-to-end experience.”

MarketFinance pointed out that credit cards or PayPal that “work well for low-ticket consumer items (£50-£100) and cost 1.5-3% to the merchant, start to look very expensive when you’re selling goods and services worth thousands.”

Also, depending on your sector, there might be “a number of different ways that businesses would like to pay.”

Your buyers might “insist on payment terms (e.g. pay on 30 or 60 days), others might like to pay now but from their business bank account or via direct debit.” Others still “might want an escrow service where they only release the funds when delivery is made and quality is checked.”

MarketFinance added that “offering different payment methods at checkout will help you close more deals at larger ticket sizes and ensure the smoothest customer experience.” It also “streamlines your business without the need for large accounts or support teams who take orders, send invoices, and take payments offline.”

MarketFinance further noted that if you’re thinking of moving your customer journeys from offline to online, or you’re scaling a B2B marketplace with more suppliers/buyers and transaction volume, then this can be a really challenging transition.

They added:

“The good news is that companies like MarketFinance are here to help deliver on all of the above. By working with an embedded finance player with over 10 years’ experience in the B2B space, you get the benefit of all the best integrations, payment options and buyer credit, without having to build out all the functionality yourself. This allows you to get ahead and focus on the most important parts of your business – your products, marketing and customer acquisition.”

(Note: For more details on this update, check here.)

In a separate update, MarketFinance noted:

We’re donating 10% of our new revenue this month to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian appeal. They’re helping to get essential supplies to families fleeing the war. Funds will go to providing food, water, shelter and healthcare. We’re donating 50% of our projected fees this month immediately and topping up at the end of March. You can find out more about the appeal and how to donate if you’d like to here. We’ll review how best to continue to support in the coming months.”

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