What are International B2B Payments?

Panna Kemenes

In an increasingly global market, businesses often need to complete transactions across borders. International B2B payments are money transfers between businesses in different countries. This requires a bank or other service provider to facilitate the transfer.

Efficient cross-border transactions are key to allowing businesses to establish and maintain good relationships with suppliers, partners, and customers.

In this article, we look at how to receive international payments B2B in the US, as well as the benefits and challenges associated with them.


What are International B2B Payments?

International B2B payments are financial transactions between businesses located in different countries. These payments are essential for purchasing goods and services, settling invoices, and maintaining business relationships across borders.

Benefits of Streamlined International B2B Payments

Efficiency in B2B international payments simplifies financial transactions. It also offers benefits that can boost a company's bottom line, as well as its operational effectiveness.

Enhancing Business Relationships Globally

Establishing trust and reliability is fundamental in international business. Efficient payments make sure that companies pay on time and without hassle. This strengthens relationships with overseas partners and suppliers.

Expanding Market Reach and Opportunities

International B2B payments help companies to tap into global markets. They can access new growth opportunities and diversify their customer base.

Reducing Costs and Improving Operational Efficiency

Streamlined payment processes reduce transaction costs and administrative overhead. This can enhance a company's operational efficiency.

Challenges in International B2B Payments

While international B2B payments offer advantages, they can also present various challenges.

Currency Conversion and Exchange Rate Fluctuations

Dealing with multiple currencies exposes businesses to currency exchange risks. Fluctuating exchange rates can affect the final amount they receive or pay for an invoice.

Compliance with Global Regulations

Different countries have different regulatory requirements for cross-border transactions. Failing to comply can result in legal issues and financial penalties.

Payment Delays and Communication Barriers

Time zones, language barriers, and differences in banking systems can cause payment delays. They can also result in communication issues between businesses.

Best Practices for Successful International B2B Payments

To ensure smooth international B2B payments, there are some best practices that businesses can follow.

Clear Communication with Overseas Partners

Maintain open lines of communication with international partners to address any payment-related issues.

Transparent Invoicing and Billing Processes

It’s essential to outline invoice payment terms and conditions to avoid misunderstandings and disputes. This can help your business get paid on time, and avoid damage to any customer and supplier relationships.

💡 You can sync QuickBooks and Wise Business to track international bills with ease.

Monitoring Exchange Rates and Market Trends

Keep a close eye on currency exchange rates and market trends. This will allow you to make informed decisions about the timing of payments.

💡 With Wise Business, you can set exchange rate alerts to get your desired rate and save money. you'll also always get the mid-market rate when using Wise for international payments.

Top Solutions for International B2B Payments

Businesses have several different options for seamless international payments, depending on their specific needs.

International Wire Transfers

Wire transfers are an electronic method of transferring funds between banks or credit unions. Businesses can use wire services such as Moneygram for international B2B cross-border payments.

Electronic payments are usually transmitted over the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) or Fedwire networks. They are a reliable way to transfer money, but they can be expensive and slow. International wire transfers should take 1-5 business days. But they can take longer depending on factors like bank cutoff times.

Online Payment Platforms

Online payment platforms have changed the way businesses handle international B2B transactions. They provide a user-friendly and cost-effective way to make and collect international B2B payments 24/7 from anywhere in the world. They also offer currency conversion at more competitive rates and with lower fees than traditional banks.

Online platforms process transactions quickly, often within hours or even minutes. This is key when dealing with time-sensitive payments or pursuing market opportunities.

Virtual Payment Cards

Virtual payment cards are digital versions of physical credit or debit cards. They offer secure and controlled access to funds for specific international transactions. This is especially useful for online purchases and can limit the risk of fraud. Users can generate unique virtual card numbers for each transaction or vendor. This makes it difficult for fraudsters to steal card details for unauthorized purchases.

Businesses can set spending limits and expiration dates on each virtual card. Detailed transaction reporting makes it easy to track payments, increasing control over expenses.

International ACH Transfers

Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers provide a convenient way to make international B2B bank payments, transferring funds between accounts in different countries. They are typically faster and cheaper than wire transfers. They can take 1-3 business days to clear and often come with lower transaction fees. ACH transfers can be set up for recurring payments. This makes them ideal for subscription-based services, monthly invoices, and other regular expenses.

However, finding a bank to send an international ACH transfer can be a challenge. ACH transfers are primarily designed for domestic transactions within the US. Only some US banks can provide international ACH services, and not to all countries. Unlike some online payment platforms, ACH transfers do not provide real-time payment confirmation.

Wise Business

If your business deals with international payments, then you can consider signing up for an account with Wise Business, which can help you save money when making international B2B payments.

Discover more,
& Open a Wise Business account online

Wise is not a bank, but a Money Services Business (MSB) provider and a smart alternative to banks. The Wise Business account is designed with international business in mind, and makes it easy to send, hold, and manage funds in 40+ currencies. You can also get 9 major currency account details for a one-off fee to receive overseas payments like a local.

What’s more, all currency exchanges are made at the mid-market rate. All these features mean that Wise can save your business money, and a few gray hairs.

🔍 Read the guide on how to open a Wise Business account

How can I mitigate currency conversion risks in cross-border payments?

Currency conversion risks are a concern for businesses sending and receiving cross-border payments. Exchange rate fluctuations can result in unexpected costs or losses. Businesses should choose a reliable currency conversion service that offers competitive exchange rates. Exchange rate alerts notify you when an exchange rate reaches a certain level. This allows you to make timely decisions and complete payments at favorable rates.

Hedging strategies, such as forward contracts, lock in exchange rates for future transactions. Holding different currencies in your business accounts can help offset changes in rates.

Wise Business offers a valuable solution to reduce currency conversion risks. It converts funds at the mid-market rate and allows users to set rate alerts for optimal conversions. This helps businesses save money and make informed decisions.

International B2B Payments: Conclusion

International B2B payments are vital for global business operations. But they come with complexities. These include exchange rate fluctuations, payment delays, communication barriers, costs and fees.

Businesses must navigate various payment methods to find the most efficient way to send and receive payments. These include wire transfers, online payment platforms, virtual payment cards, and ACH transfers. With the right strategies, companies can reap the benefits of global expansion.

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This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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