Business payments have evolved rapidly over the last two decades, allowing SMEs to move money more simply. Fintechs in particular have led the charge on emerging tech that allow businesses to operate with ease, but despite progress, there is still work to be done.
What key trends will shape business payments in 2023?
As more businesses look to expand both domestically and abroad in 2023, organisations will need to respond swiftly to some of the key challenges that small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) face when it comes to business payments. Here are three of the key tech trends that business-facing organisations should be paying attention to this year.
Embedded finance represents one of the biggest opportunities for innovation in business payments. Business-facing platforms are increasingly turning to partnerships to jumpstart innovation and make life easier for small-to-medium enterprise customers. Part of the appeal of embedded finance is that it can be applied to all aspects of business payments.
From improved payroll, to invoicing, to cross-border payments, fintechs integrating third-party infrastructure allow their clients to gain access to tools that make payments easier.
By leveraging the power of embedded finance, banks and fintechs can offer business customers additional features while keeping their focus firmly trained on their core product offering. By offering SMEs more best-in-class products within their own ecosystem, they also lower the risk that these customers will look for better products elsewhere.
For example, Wise Platform works with over 30 partners to integrate the best way to send, receive and manage money into their existing infrastructure, including global accounting platform Xero. Wise syncs within Xero’s platform, allowing businesses to track and manage their global transactions and streamlining processes for bookkeepers and business owners. Xero creates additional value for their customers, and businesses save time on admin.
Real-time payments are crucial for SMEs looking for a fast, efficient way to pay and get paid. Instant payments increase customer satisfaction by making shopping with businesses simpler, and ensure that businesses spend less time worrying about managing liquidity.
While many banks and fintechs have invested heavily on moving towards better instant payments, there is much more to do. This is true of domestic and international payments. For example, sending money abroad via SWIFT can still take several days, and as customer demand grows, instant, real-time payments will continue to be a priority in 2023.
One option for firms looking to speed up the rate of cross-border payments in particular is selecting their own correspondent banks. Wise Platform’s International Receive allows banks and neobanks to choose Wise as their correspondent bank, which means they can connect to SWIFT easily while also benefiting from Wise Platform’s speed and affordability.
A recent independent survey, commissioned by Wise, revealed that over 26% of UK SMEs plan to expand abroad in 2023, however an almost equal number (24%) are put off from doing so due to the cost and inconvenience of international banking services. As more SMEs look to operate across borders, fintechs providing options for fast, cheap, and convenient international payments will be able to better serve business customers.
Fintechs can enable cross-border business payments in several ways. One way is to build new infrastructure internally, though this can take a while. The other is to utilise the power of embedded finance to adopt the infrastructure already designed by another company.
For example, Wise partners with global HR and payroll firm Deel to give Deel clients the ability to fund payments using 19 local currencies. Not only can businesses pay employees in the currency that works best for them, but they can do so using a simple email address, making it simpler and more convenient to send money across borders – powered by Wise.
Working with partners speeds up innovation and allows fintechs to provide businesses with additional value quickly and seamlessly, encouraging them to continue using their service.
Despite the economic hardship the industry has faced over the last year, there’s never been a more exciting time in the world of business payments. The potential for industry-wide change is enormous – especially as collaboration between players grows year on year.
Wise Platform works with over 60 partners worldwide – from incumbent banks to credit unions to investment platforms and payroll providers – to bring business customers fast, cheap and transparent international payments from the convenience of their existing app.
Introducing this service enhances their value proposition and means that fewer customers will turn to other providers who better serve this niche. So, whether you are a startup, scaleup, are already operating globally or have dreams of better serving an international customer base, find out how Wise Platform can transform your offer today.
Till Wirth is the Product Director at Wise Platform.