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7 best practices for secure and efficient B2B payments

A small business owner handling B2B payments on his laptop.
Johannes Larsson
Published at | Updated:

Handling business-to-business (B2B) payments can be quite an undertaking in a dynamic business environment. But mastering secure and efficient transactions is crucial for any entrepreneur seeking to grow their company to the next level.

With Gartner’s Future of Sales report forecasting that a staggering 80% of B2B transactions will occur through digital channels by 2025, there’s no time like the present to focus on improving the security of your business payments.

So, if you’re ready to gain a competitive edge by streamlining your payment processes and protecting sensitive financial data, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll reveal seven best practices for secure and efficient B2B payments, equipping you with the know-how and tools to optimize your payment processes and safeguard your finances.

Let’s dive in.

1. Create a central payment processing hub

Without the proper tools in place, keeping track of your incoming and outgoing payments can feel like a juggling act.

To bring order and efficiency to your B2B payments, establishing a central payment processing hub for your business is an essential first step to managing this chaos.

Why? A central payment processing hub consolidates all business transactions into one organized, manageable system.

This one-stop shop simplifies the tracking and reconciliation of payments and provides consistency across various payment methods and currencies.

A central payment processing hub has a variety of benefits that allow you to:

  • Easily track cash flow and identify potential bottlenecks.
  • Quickly identify outliers and trends to reduce fraud risks.
  • Access real-time and accurate financial data to drive strategic decisions.

Setting up a central payment processing hub involves assessing your current payment practices, choosing the appropriate tools and platforms, and seamlessly integrating them to form a comprehensive system that simplifies B2B payments all in one place.

2. Automate repetitive tasks

When running a small business, time is money. And spending countless hours on manual, repetitive tasks hinders your productivity and increases the likelihood of human error.

Why not automate these tasks whenever possible? You know, work smarter, not harder.

By automating repetitive tasks, you can:

  • Free up valuable time for your team to focus on more strategic initiatives to grow your business.
  • Minimize the risk of manual errors and inaccuracies in your payment processes.
  • Leverage built-in security features from automation tools, protecting your transactions and sensitive data from potential threats.
  • Improve scalability to handle an increasing volume of transactions seamlessly without compromising efficiency as your business grows.

So what’s the secret to automating your payment processes? Investing in the proper software designed specifically for B2B payments, like Melio.

Look for stand-out features like payment reminders and auto-reconciliation for accounts receivable (AR), which can be invaluable when managing the repayment schedules for business loans.

Sadly, at least 70% of small businesses in the U.S. are in debt. With automation, you’ll never miss another loan payment again.

In other words, adding the right automation tools to your tech stack makes managing your finances and maintaining healthy cash flow easier.

3. Offer your clients multiple payment options, including ACH

Catering to your clients and suppliers’ unique preferences and needs can improve satisfaction and foster long-lasting relationships.

As humans, we tend to gravitate toward familiar routines. If a particular payment method aligns with our business processes and proves reliable, we often hesitate to explore new alternatives. It’s helpful to diversify the range of acceptable payment options for your clients and suppliers to accommodate this mindset and create a more seamless transaction experience.

Consider offering and accepting a variety of payment methods, such as:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • Wire transfers
  • ACH bank transfers (aka Automated Clearing House payments)

That way, you’re better equipped to meet the diverse needs of your clients and suppliers. The result? Stronger business relationships and an efficient B2B payment experience.

In other words, it’s a simple way to overcome objections in sales and increase your earnings potential.

Speaking of earnings potential, are you sick and tired of chasing after clients to pay your invoices? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

On average, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are owed over $300,000 in late payments. That’s not a drop in the bucket, and it causes unnecessary panic and wasted time and resources to chase after these outstanding invoices.

But did you know that automatic payments via ACH are the easiest way to guarantee on-time payment of home mortgage loans? So, why not apply the same model to your business operations to improve on-time payments from clients?

When in doubt, always opt for ACH. It’s one of the easiest ways to reduce the number (and materiality) of late payments. Plus, ACH bank transfers are secure and trackable. And, with Melio, you save on fees when you make and accept ACH payments, as they are free for both parties. It’s a win-win.

4. Fraud prevention and security

Unfortunately, small businesses are a primary target for cybersecurity attacks.

Why? They’re the low-hanging fruit that either don’t have the budget to invest in robust security measures or get too caught up in keeping everything running like a well-oiled machine.

But the safety of your B2B payments safeguards your company’s assets and helps maintain your clients and suppliers’ trust and confidence. So it’s time to button up the hatches. What does that look like?

Here are a few ways to enhance your security measures:

  • Ask for multiple forms of identification before granting access or approving transactions.
  • Add secure authentication and authorization protocols, which enable users to safely access your platform with their existing credentials from trusted sources.
  • Keep a close eye on your financial transactions to detect suspicious activity and use data analysis tools to identify trends that could signal potential fraud.
  • Regularly review and adopt the latest security standards and best practices in the financial industry, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
  • Choose trusted payment service providers with a proven track record of prioritizing security and safeguarding assets.

5. Maximize the use of technology

Embracing the power of technology helps your business stay competitive and streamlines every aspect of the B2B payment process.

For instance, you can seamlessly integrate your payment processing tools with your accounting software to improve accuracy in your record-keeping process and simplify financial reporting.

When you actively seek out and implement innovative technology, you can minimize manual intervention, prevent silly mistakes, and create a more efficient and secure environment for your business transactions.

Not only that, but technology can help you stay ahead of those pesky credit disputes and improve your business credit score.

Studies show that small business owners who understand their business credit are 41% more likely to be approved for a business loan, which opens the door to new funding opportunities to take your business to the next level.

Technology offers unlimited benefits at your fingertips. It’s your job to find the right tools for your needs to unlock its full potential. And if you don’t, your competitors will.

6. Implement a single view of transactions

Commercial banks have long recognized the benefits of displaying credit card transactions in a single, easy-to-scan list.

The consolidated view helps consumers identify outliers in their spending or red flags for fraudulent activity, making it an invaluable tool for risk management.

Similarly, a single view of transactions can significantly enhance your B2B payment processes and risk management protocols, where you can:

  • Identify suspicious activity in real time and flag it for investigation by your team.
  • Understand the status of all payments at any given time, including what’s paid and what’s outstanding.
  • Track payments chronologically based on their source and destination accounts.

7. Minimize manual processes and paper-based checks

When did you last manually write a paper check to pay for a personal expense? Our guess is it’s been a while.

That doesn’t mean that checks are out of the picture. Data shows that 25% to 40% of B2B payments are still made by check, depending on the source.

There are a few ways to combat the manual processes of writing and mailing a paper-based check to pay vendors and contractors. For instance, Melio offers an easy solution by sending a check or bank transfer on your behalf, regardless of how you choose to pay. It’s that simple. No heavy lifting is required.

Or you can transition away from paper checks by offering electronic payment options such as wire transfers and ACH. These methods are faster, more secure, and typically involve lower transaction fees.

Both options have the same common goal: minimize manual processes. That way, your team has more time to focus on growing your business while reducing simple errors that tend to go hand-in-hand with manual processes.

Secure your B2B payments today

Optimizing your B2B payment processes is the secret sauce for the growth and success of your business.

Adding these best practices into your workflows will help you streamline your financial operations, safeguard your B2B payments, and build stronger relationships with clients and suppliers.

And the best part? The positive impact you’ll see on your bottom line after prioritizing a solid and efficient payment system for your business.

Start by signing up for Melio today to securely process all your B2B payments online and keep your business thriving in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced market.

‍Johannes Larsson is the founder and CEO of, an SEO geek, and an affiliate marketing expert. In his blog, he shares his expertise in SEO, affiliate marketing, and finance with a wealth of resources for digital entrepreneurs.

*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.