Global fintech continues to receive gobs of startup funding and other general investment activity (M&A, etc), with 2019 totals through Q3 at almost $25 billion, according to CB Insights. While this particular announcement from Cision PR Newswire is not an investment-related deal, it is emblematic of the ongoing collaboration between players in the hot space of cash cycle solutions, particularly in B2B payables and receivables. How will this impact B2B payments?
WEX is a mature fintech with payments DNA and decades of service delivery, most well-known for fleet solutions, but during the past 5 plus years, it has transformed into a broader delivery of payables capabilities. Billtrust is a mature startup with a supplier focus, announcing the Business Payments Network in 2018, which is another of the industry efforts to remove stress from the cards acceptance and general receivables friction.
‘With $35 billion in global B2B processing volume, WEX’s participation expands BPN’s reach to suppliers wishing to receive touchless electronic payments while converting transactions to the buyer’s preferred format…”We’re proud to have WEX as a part of our growing platform,” said Nick Babinsky, Vice President & General Manager, Business Payments Network at Billtrust. “WEX is a market leader in B2B payments, and we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen to incorporate BPN as a part of their strategy to deliver value to the corporate and financial institution clients they serve.”….”Our organizations share the view that supplier experience is a vital component to customer satisfaction,” said Dylan Jones, Sr. Director, Supplier Services at WEX. “We’re pleased to partner with Billtrust to solve for the ‘last mile’ of automated settlement and reconciliation. This will enable frictionless payments to the suppliers of WEX customers.” ‘
Looking at our Commercial & Enterprise Outlook for 2020 (download here), there is an acceleration of digital solutions underway for the cash cycle, separate and distinct from the various new payment solutions (faster, real-time, cross border, etc). So this deal combines buyer/supplier solutions to help drive more of a straight-through processing environment, which targets the massive volume of B2B payments that will shift to e-payments and away from checks during the next 5 years (many billions of transactions).
We are not expecting any change in this positive momentum in the foreseeable future.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group