Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

Can Generative AI Reinvent Commercial Transactions? 

AI, artificial intelligence, b2b, b2b payments

It is a truth universally acknowledged that customers will always want more choices, not fewer. 

That applies to business customers, too. 

So it stands to reason that in the future, there will be more ways to move money, not fewer, even for commercial transactions. 

But enabling multiple frictionless, interoperable and instant commercial transaction vehicles for B2B firms will need a dynamic infrastructure foundation capable of handling the complexity of moving money seamlessly between banks, FinTechs and card networks, with all the right levels of risk and control. 

Complicating matters is that many of the bottlenecks that have historically plagued commercial transactions continue to plague them today, including transaction costs, invoice reconciliation, payment delays and working capital issues, among other challenges. 

Operational excellence needs to be underpinned by innovation. Certain observers believe that today’s most promising technical innovations, including generative artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and other disruptive tools, could play could play a key role in producing new efficiencies that can streamline many of the frictions and that have historically weighed down the B2B ecosystem’s potential for growth while enhancing the speed, transparency and security of its payment networks. 

Trillions of dollars flow annually between companies and across borders. 

A key part of winning not just a seat at the B2B table but getting a slice of the pie boils down to one essential thing: customer experience. 

Read alsoWhy B2B Tech Will Drive the Next Innovation Cycle

This Week in Commercial Transactions

“B2B has needed to put up with bad software for a long time, or one-size-fits-all software, that wasn’t really built for them,” Constructor CEO and Co-founder Eli Finkelshteyn told PYMNTS in July.

But in a promising sign for the future of growth and innovation in the commercial payments space, there were a drumbeat of announcements this week focused on making commercial transactions more streamlined and efficient between all parties involved. 

On Monday (Sept. 18), at Sibos 2023, Intellect Global Transaction Banking (iGTB) launched an AI-powered copilot tool for commercial bankers to better serve their business customers. 

This solution, which includes over 50 AI-powered use cases including cash management, liquidity, investments, deposits, cash pooling, cash forecasting, payments, virtual accounts, trade and supply chain finance, will also be extended to iGTB’s corporate clients. 

The iGTB launch joined other announcements covered here with more of a cross-border B2B focus, from Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions new Citi Token Services, to Bank of America’s own global trade platform; HSBC’s debut of a trade finance tool, and the announcement Tuesday (Sept. 19) by Visa and Swift of their own new collaboration aimed at streamlining international payments between global B2B networks. 

And on Wednesday (Sept. 20), financial software firm Finastra launched a trade finance partnership with Microsoft.

Rounding the past three days out was the news from Mastercard and Oracle announcing a new partnership themselves to automate B2B payments for enterprise customers.

Enabling virtual card acceptance through accounts receivable (AR) automation also can increase efficiency and help businesses capture large spend opportunities, according to PYMNTS Intelligence in “B2B Digital Payments.”

See moreGenerative AI Helps Auto-Complete Commercial Transactions

Learning From B2C Payments

“You don’t have to look much further than B2C today for the future of B2B tomorrow, when it comes to things like efficiency and digitization. Some of the newer generations rising up in organizations just won’t accept some of the things that have been taken for granted as status quo for decades — they’ll say this is too difficult, this needs to change,” Corcentric CEO Matt Clark told PYMNTS, adding that, “digitization is table stakes now.” 

And as the expectations of business customers evolve, commercial ecosystem players will increasingly need to deliver a seamless and engaging transactional experience. 

Beyond that, as new forms of value such as CBDCs and tokenized assets emerge and begin to play a role within certain commercial transactions globally, it is important to ensure that innovative payment channels can be integrated alongside existing infrastructure and interoperate with them. 

That’s why, with a need for speed gaining pace, generative AI tools that can help businesses make faster decisions with more precision, are well positioned to do the same for their commercial payments.