How important are B2B merchant services?
Well, without any B2B merchant accounts, it would be impossible to collect payment and therefore pretty darn difficult to stay in business. But, which one you pick can also have a huge effect on your business. Consumers typically prefer to shop at Amazon than hunt for the best deal on the same product because Amazon offers them convenience. In the same way, businesses that may want to pay you for your services may elect to choose someone else if they are having difficulty sending you money. Overall, it speaks to the professionalism of the company and you want to make sure that your merchant services are representing you in the best way possible. Therefore, you want to choose the best merchant account available for your needs.
What criteria makes the best B2B payment solution?
We find providers that can handle the bigger credit transfers typical of B2B transactions and reduce your costs while can help you pay suppliers, domestic and abroad, and can handle not only the typical credit/debit cards but also ACH transfers and check payments. Your B2B purchases could be mainly wire transfers, based on what your company buys in big amounts and/or offshore. Traditionally, these transactions are facilitated from a branch, but lately, there have been quite a few fintech firms seeking to circumvent the conventional direction and address the issue in fascinating ways. We have selected a few such businesses and included them in our list.
When compiling our list, we made a few assumptions:
The average B2B payment is big, even for small businesses (compared to the typical consumer purchases), and will also have to be made primarily by wire transfer or ACH if you are lucky.
The monthly payment processing size of some B2B firms is very high since each transaction size can be large (e.g., travel agencies catering to business travelers) (such as travel companies providing to business travelers).
Other B2B firms tend to have very little credit card charges because their clients typically buy credit cards in limited amounts but have bigger monthly orders paid through invoices (such as standard supply stores).
Provided these two different types of business, based on what you offer or the service you give, it seems like the actual card processing amount can either be very high or very limited.
Finally, there are certain limits for how many payments you can pass in any sort of processing, whether these are on a rolling time period or dollar cap. These are also set up with debit and credit cards by the payment processors or the receiving banks. With the ACH system, the daily payment ACH cap is $100,000 as of December 2020. As of the time of this writing, ACH payments are processed up to three instances in a single day in the United States, but other technologies may take over without this limitation. Strictly speaking, there is no cap on the dollar amount that can be exchanged with wire transfers, but then you could run into bank or country laws and legislation that could restrict the scale of the transfers. However, most small businesses will not have to worry about this potential problem. Think of the average size of your B2B payments/receipts and select your service provider using that detail.
Now that we have been through some preliminary constraints, let us get started with the list of the best merchant accounts themselves. In no special order of choice are the firms below.
National processing, available at nationalprocessing.com, is the first up on our list. We placed National Processing on this comprehensive list due to the fact that it has one of the cheapest processing rates across both ACH and e-checks, which we reasonably expect B2B companies to use rather a bit, of course. Although National Processing also provides B2C merchants with a full spectrum of tools, we are concentrating on its B2B related infrastructure. Note, overseas money transactions cannot be performed through National Processing. While larger corporations may have issues with this, most small businesses can get by without overseas processing just fine.
National Processing includes interchange-plus rates on credit cards. This way, it has multiple levels set up, with the bottom layer further separated into e-commerce, standard retail, and dining transactions. This rate ends at $75,000 a month, which will of course be affected by your business. National Processing provides two packages for higher volume retailers: one is for merchants that handle card transactions of anywhere between $75,000 to $200,000 a month, and the other one is for merchants that process upwards of $200,000 in a single month. If any of these packages seem like they are for you, you should go ahead and check out their website for even more information.
National Processing costs only $5/month for access to the payment portal used to process internet payments for the approval of card payments. This is exactly what you would need if you intend to incorporate your electronic invoices with payment at the push of a button. To support you in setting up the gateway, National Processing will not charge you an additional fee. They have separate transaction costs for ACH or e-check processing, which allows you to only sign up for this service if you do not want to offer credit and debit card transactions on your purchase orders as an alternative. This can also save you money, depending on your needs. This service starts with a $15/month fee, but only $0.48 per transaction, which is rather cheap. National Processing also has a month to month accounts with no cancellation fees, which can support a young business's growth without adding too much additional risk. If you need equipment to set up, you may just be able to ask for it for free.
Visiting their website, you can tell that they are focused on your business, which can be refreshing in this world. Every detail is catered towards you and they are willing to work with you to iron any details out, including giving you $500 if you can find another merchant account that can beat their price. Therefore, if the pricing is favorable, you really can't go wrong with using National Processing, which is why they are on our list of the best merchant accounts.
Since National processing only focuses on domestic payments, the next one we are discussing is TransferWise, available at transferwise.com, which is the king when it comes to international payments. TransferWise has both B2C and B2B payments, but actually mostly focuses on Peer to Peer (P2P) payments, which makes it interesting. However, even though it is a jack of all trades in a way, it can still be purposed for business use if necessary.
TransferWise costs absolutely nothing to set it up and is offered on a pay for each use model (which is a plus for newer businesses or companies branching into new markets), unlike several other multinational payment processors. TransferWise could be a better match for the specifications of your company based on how many transactions you average each month and the size of the transaction.
However, one point worth mentioning is that TransferWise does overseas payments only. You will want to complement TransferWise with a payment processing provider for the ACH and card payment systems if you accept a lot of internal US ACH transactions or credit and debit card payments.
TransferWise works on an intriguing design. They have set up their own monetary accounts with numerous banking institutions in all sorts of countries all over. When you make a payment through TransferWise from one country to another, what you end up doing is depositing money in one of TransferWise's bank accounts and then they transfer money to your intended target from a different bank account, which is why they are able to skirt around some financial costs and regulations. So rather than going through all of the hoops with the standard international money payment route via something called SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), TransferWise essentially has its own private channels for moving money around. All they have to do is manage their books properly and while your money is not actually transferred in the traditional sense, your recipient will still receive their cash. They currently support over 50 currencies that you can hold your money in or transfer to over 80 countries all around the world.
Because of this extremely unique business form, TransferWise’s worldwide transfer prices can be far cheaper than the traditional bank wire SWIFT transfer charges. They also make it super clear for you exactly how much money is going to be received so that you do not have to worry about any surprise fees or middlemen taking out extra money. We value this transparency and ingenuity. The recipient of your payments does not also even need to have signed up for TransferWise, because the cash goes straight into their bank account like a normal domestic transfer (because that is what it is on their end). If you do quite a bit of your business abroad, such as importing or exporting a lot of products for reselling, TransferWise might just be the right payment option to handle your international transfers for you.
Via its open API, TransferWise can connect with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks and allow for easy batch payments, including streamlining those payments on a schedule. Different currencies may even be submitted in the same batch.
There are higher limits as to exactly how much you can actually submit each time, but they also depend on the currencies involved and the local laws of the banks themselves. By making multiple smaller transfers over a period of several days, you can maneuver around the limits, or speak to the bank to raise the cap. If you submit a large sum of money, TransferWise will be sure to ask you before authorizing the transaction to check your ID, and that approval can take a few days. Fortunately, it is possible to receive clearance in advance, so make sure to bear that in mind if you have any major upcoming moves. Despite fluctuating exchange rates, TransferWise also helps the receiver to get an exact number, and there are many forms the organization offers to do this.
Square, which can be found at squareup.com, was one of the first 'easy' invoicing providers for small businesses to hit the mainstream. Nowadays, tons of stores use them for their B2C needs, but did you know they can also be used for invoicing and B2B? Not everyone does since it is not their main focus, but they actually do a really good job of it and have a rather clean interface for a smooth experience overall. This does come at a cost, however. By paying for ease and marketing, you may lose an extra chunk on each payment, which, over time, could amount to a lot. They still make our list, though, because some small business owners simply do not have the time or inclination to use a less polished, but still feature-rich, merchant service.
To dive right in, Square specializes in credit and debit card transactions and does not have much in the way of accepting other payment forms like ACH or international wires. While this is a limitation, many small businesses are local, regional, or national and this would not necessarily impact them. Additionally, money can still be sent with a card for international customers, however, TransferWise would be a much cheaper solution in that scenario. While there is no account set up or maintenance fee, Square will charge a flat fee of $0.30 and a variable fee of 0.3% of the total payment on each transaction for using the online terminal. There are a few other ways to process payments with similar fees, but typically people who invoice with Square do use the online terminal. If your average sales ticket is over $15 and you process more than $250,000 annually, you may qualify for custom pricing. This model is, again, intended for B2C, but is somewhat reasonable for small businesses to reach, depending on the business.
Square's clear selling point is that it is easy to use in a store, but it is also easy to use online for invoicing or integrated into an online store. One of the high points of Square is that if you wanted to, you could integrate several aspects of your business into different storefronts (one for B2B and one for B2C, for example) and take a lot of work off of your shoulders. This is not applicable to every business but certainly is a huge plus. Therefore, if you do a mix of B2B and B2C business domestically and you want a super easy solution for credit and debit cards only, Square may be your go-to.
Every business, especially every small business, has its own unique needs and priorities. Some may choose cost over convenience and vice versa. When it comes to the best merchant accounts, there is absolutely no one size fits all. If your business does solely ACH and e-checks domestically, I'd recommend using National Processing. IF you only take in money from international countries, then TransferWise is the way to go. If you need both international and domestic payments, you can have both National Processing and TransferWise set up. If you want your invoicing system to work as an online storefront or to send businesses and consumers to a web store, Square may be a good solution for you. Some businesses would even benefit from having all three set up. Ultimately, it is up to your specific circumstances to decide.
Posted in Merchant Account on Jan 20, 2021