Big Data Informing Better B2B Payment Solutions

data b2b payment solutions

How Data is Influencing Smarter Integrated Payables

Data collection seems to be in the news almost daily, and unfortunately, some has been seen as  negative. The truth is that big data is actually providing business around the globe visibility and insight, the likes of which a global economy has never before witnessed. This is particularly good news for the financial leaders who are managing B2B payment solutions. The payment industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the world and you can probably guess why. Payment is a part of everyday life – electronic payments and integrated payables are no longer novelty but instead, a necessity. Technology is enabling both B2C and B2B payment solutions through smart phones and apps, which means companies are investing time and money to keep up with the most effective solutions for controlling payment. The almost unseen benefit of the technology is the data generated by it. While the benefits are vast, it comes down to 7 advantages that will change business for the better.

  1. Integrating all complex & disparate functions of Payment Platforms
    Most payment providers offer a variety of services – credit cards, debit cards and corporate payments. Integrated payables provides different kinds of payment types – credit cards, debit cards, check, wire transfers – in one centralized payment platform. This helps with internal efficiencies (e.g. collapsing redundant functions such as fraud, risk scoring, reconciliation, reporting into one platform) but also with external services offered to merchants (forecasting, analytics).
  2. Detect Payment Fraud
    Big Data is dramatically changing that approach with advanced analytic solutions that are powerful and fast enough to detect fraud in real time but also build models based on historical data (and deep learning) to proactively identify risks.
  3. Risk Scoring of Payments in Real-time & Batch 
    Payment providers assess the risk score of transactions in real-time depending on various attributes (consumer’s country of origin, IP address etc.). Big Data enables these attributes to become granular by helping support advanced statistical techniques to incorporate behavioral (transaction is out of normal behavior for a consumer’s buying pattern), temporal and spatial techniques.
  4. Detect Payments Money Laundering (AML)
    A range of Big Data techniques are being deployed to detect money laundering disguised as legitimate payments.
  5. Understand Your Customers Better
    Payment providers can create a single view of a Cardholder across multiple accounts & channels of usage. Doing this will enable cross sell/upsell and better customer segmentation.
  6. Merchant Analytics 
    Provide sophisticated analytics to merchants as a way of driving merchant rewards programs. Retailers, Airlines and other online merchants need to understand what segments their customers fall into as well as the best avenues to market. Payment providers can help Merchant Retailers understand their customers better as well as improve their loyalty programs.
  7. Delivering the Best Possible, Highly Personalized Payments Experience
    Mobile Wallets offer the consumer tremendous convenience by supporting the integration of capabilities such as bill payment, person-to-person payments and account-to-account transfers to streamline the payments experience beyond the point of sale. Consumers can then move and manage money at the time they choose: instantly, same-day, next day or on a scheduled date in the future.

Before You Can Control the Companies Spend You Need to Understand It

It might all seem overwhelming but thankfully, companies like WEX can help with B2B Payment Solutions that provide the advantages above, starting with understanding the spend. While the purchase of critical materials is top-of-mind for most businesses, hard-to-track indirect costs like travel, office supplies and out-of-pocket expenses are often left unmonitored, resulting in needless overspending. WEX Analytics shows you where your company spends money, on what and with which vendors. A deeper dive reveals outliers, variances and specific categories for a detailed picture of business expenses. This cloud-based solution consolidates data from multiple sources like invoicing, expense reporting, ERP and accounting systems, then normalizes the data and delivers meaningful and focused reports. Identify cost-saving opportunities, rein in out-of-policy expenses and target categories for strategic sourcing with business analytics.

The Four Top Benefits Include:

  1. Comprehensive online reportingand analytical tools designed to automate the review, allocation and reporting of all discretionary business expenses with supervisor oversight
  2. Administrative oversightand reporting delivered on-demand, by selected date range and/or billing cycle
  3. Configurable dataexports can be requested on-demand or scheduled
  4. Reports are available by cardholder, division, business unit, merchant, expense period, GL, travel, purchasing and fleet

Furthermore, data analytics has proven to be a benefit to both the company and the employee in the following ways:

FOR THE COMPANY

  • Improved Decision Making: Understand spending based on comprehensive analysis of spend data.
  • Discounts: Leverage spending history to negotiate supplier contracts and discounts.
  • Compliance: Flag out-of-policy transactions and implement further controls where needed.

FOR THE EMPLOYEE

  • Customized Reporting: Get the information you need with simple customized and ad hoc reporting.
  • Insight: Identify and quickly address out-of-policy spenders and suspicious purchases in your department.

Robust data analytics allow the company to offer tools that can provide even more power to your operations and strength to your financial supply chain. Corporate card solutions are growing extensively in their ability to offer the employee the ease and flexibility of spending while providing accuracy, efficiencies and visibility to the company. WEX offers the Ultimate Card that is a single card and one platform. It is everything a business requires for total purchasing power and provides visibility and data to inform how it is managed. The WEX Ultimate Card is an integrated card program that combines the functionality of two or more commercial programs – travel and entertainment, purchasing, and fleet – into a single card or account. This gives mid-to-large enterprises superior flexibility, unified data capture, and enhanced expense reporting and control. Benefits include:

  • Comprehensive online expense management application designed to automate the review, allocation and reporting of all discretionary business expenses with supervisor oversight
  • Administrative oversight and reporting delivered on-demand, by selected date range and/or billing cycle
  • Configurable data exports can be requested on-demand or scheduled
  • Reports are available by cardholder, division, business unit, merchant, expense period, GL, travel, purchasing and fleet
  • The data is easily uploaded to the company’s ERP system

It is clear integrated payables, card systems and robust AP solutions are in demand, and the big data generated from these systems and tools are providing insight and direction that is changing the way the payment industry is doing business — elevating B2B solutions for themselves and their clients.

 

Resources:

hortonworks.com/blog/payment-providers-big-data-analytics-provides-new-opportunities-2017/

https://www.wexpayables.com/ap-solutions/managed-payables/

www.wexpayables.com/ap-solutions/integrated-payables/

B2B Payment Solutionscorporate payment solutionselectronic payment systemsoperation efficienciesVirtual Cards