The confidence of both travellers and their employers to return to travel depends on proactively managing the degree of acceptable risk and demonstrably reassuring individuals
B2B payments may finally see widescale innovation according to some market participants, with both Visa and Mastercard bolstering their business payments services this month.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of interest in innovation in general at this stage,” says Paul Raymond, director of strategic relationships, Conferma Pay. The fintech announced a partnership with Visa to provide virtual corporate card payments earlier in May.
According to Raymond, the challenges brought on by the pandemic are causing corporates to re-evaluate their payment processes.
“Why would we do this in the way that we’ve always done it simply because we’ve done it that way? Can we reduce costs? Can we make this more efficient? Can we make sure that what these issues hit again – if they do hit again – that we are managing processes better and we are not as affected as we were this time?” he says.
Business payments have been behind the development curve compared to retail payments. Corporate card payments feature greater complexities, with banks required to run authorisation processes and increased reporting that aren’t present with retail cards.
“B2B payments have been slow to take off for a number of reasons … The commercial card relationship within a corporate card payment process is different to that within a retail environment. Up until recently rebate is paid by most banks to large corporate customers on the spend that they put through on a corporate card. That means that they’re less profitable in terms of individual accounts, but they are significant in terms of the volume that they put through. So there’s a different commercial model there,” says Raymond.
The growing volume of B2B payments is significant; already accounting for the largest scale of cross-border payments by volume and revenue, they grew by four percent in 2019, according to McKinsey findings.
According to Raymond, the impact of coronavirus on corporate travel will have long-term implications for the B2B space.
“I think there could be more stringent corporate governance rules, forcing organisations to demonstrate that they are dispensing the duty of care when they are asking people to travel on their behalf, that they are giving them the tools that will allow them to protect themselves should they need to. And I think the virtual payment pieces is an obvious point in question there,” he says.
About Conferma Pay
Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. We design and integrate virtual payment systems that provides a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for for businesses.
Travel Meets Payment
Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then we have connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrate with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Our roots lie in corporate travel payment integration.
We enable our payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is our network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks.
Our ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of our global customer base.