The times, they are a-changin’. In B2B payments, that means changes in how businesses access, protect and ultimately make their money. The newest data from the world of FinServ suggests the B2B finance space is on a precipice of change. The alternative lending market is showing signs of defeat against traditional bank loans, and SMEs are strengthening their demands for more than the typical solutions currently offered by traditional FIs.
At the same time, new evidence emerged to imply businesses will be adopting more sophisticated fleet payments tactics, while separate research found cause to believe B2B businesses are ready to implement mobile sales efforts for their corporate clients.
Explore how B2B FinTech is on the cusp of change as we break down all of the statistics and surveys below.
200 community banks have cut ties with Lending Club following the sudden departure of the alternative lender’s CEO and the subsequent hit to share prices, which reverberated across other alt-finance players. Reports said top banks, like Goldman Sachs and Jefferies, have stopped purchasing loans from the platform, while 200 smaller banks have followed suit. The FIs are part of BancAlliance, which has decided to examine the causes of the resignation of Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche, said to be a result of accusations of improperly sold loans. While Lending Club generally focuses its services on consumers, the implications of Laplanche’s resignation have echoed throughout the SME lending space as well and could see a further decline in banks backing small business loans offered through marketplace platforms.
65% of U.K. fleet managers consider fuel card fraud a major issue, found oil giant Shell in its first Fraud Matters report on the fleet card industry. Analysts also found that nearly half of fleet managers (48 percent) agreed they need to step up their anti-fraud game, with top worries including fuel siphoning, card cloning and the purchase of unauthorized items with commercial cards. While managers understand that something needs to be done, it seems that action has yet to be taken; according to Shell, 37 percent of fleet managers said their drivers lack the education necessary to curb fleet card fraud, and only 28 percent actually offer fraud prevention training.
60.2% of alt-lenders approved small business applications in April, according to the latest data from Biz2Credit. While the figure is no failure, it also represented a decline in the number of SME loan application approvals among alternative lenders. Meanwhile, Biz2Credit found, big banks — those with $10 billion or more in assets — increased their small business lending in April, approving 23.1 percent of borrower applications. It marks the highest approval rate in at least five years, researchers said. Analysts pointed to the slow-but-steady incline of big bank approval rates for SME applicants, while the data on alternative lending could suggest a market self-correction. Alternative lenders, Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora said, “may soon become an afterthought for small business owners.”
60% of U.K. SMEs want banks to offer bitcoin services, suggesting the cryptocurrency may not be such a failure after all. According to new research from Accenture, which published the results in its “SME Banking 2020: Changing the Conversation” report, small and medium-sized businesses are eager for more value-added services offered by their FIs. Those services include bitcoin and peer-to-peer lending, analysts said. Maintaining the status quo could mean financial institutions lose out on billions of missed profits. Unless banks work to keep up with this new face of SME demand, they’re not only likely to lose revenue but also relevance, Accenture concluded.
41% of software developers said PaaS is better suited for mobile B2B than Software-as-a-Service, according to new Forrester research. Analysts concluded that the PaaS space is likely to gain traction twice as much as SaaS over the next two years. Platform-as-a-Service, researchers explained, allows developers to create an API customized for their business and clients in the B2B commerce space. Developers cited PaaS’ compatibility with mobile devices as a top advantage over SaaS, a focus that may hint at an increase in mobile B2B eCommerce solutions being developed by suppliers and manufacturers in the near future.
30% of fleet managers will adopt a telematics solution in North America by 2020, stated Research and Markets. The new study added to the company’s offerings, looking at the growth of fleet technology between 2015 and 2022, with nearly a third of businesses expected to integrate telematics into their fleet management processes by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, Software-as-a-Service vendors are likely to shift their focus to developing tools that are more easily integrated into fleet managers’ operations and into fuel card programs, too.
25% of SMEs in the UAE are struggling with delayed payments, according to data from Gulf Finance. The statistics suggest the issue of late and delayed supplier payments are far from isolated to the U.K. and U.S. Rather, a quarter of small suppliers in the United Arab Emirates reported having struggled with collecting payments. And while the fourth quarter of 2015 brought a modest improvement in SMEs’ ability to access financing, it was still significantly lower than it was at the beginning of last year, said researchers. The small business financing firm added that improvement in the economy — and in SME performance — is likely to be gradual this year.
A 1-point increase in an SME optimism index boosts levels to a two-year high, according to research from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The firm released its assessment of small business sentiment in the U.S., finding that several metrics in the research — plans to extend staff, sales levels and more — rose. Despite an overall positive result, the index did find some downfalls: Not all verticals reported sales increases, and plans to hire new staff were only reported in the manufacturing, construction and professional services markets. While mixed, the research indicates confidence of ongoing economic improvement, NFIB said.