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This Week in B2B: Smarter Treasury, Better Businesses

commercial payments, b2b payments, spend management

How businesses transact with one another defines the ups and downs of the global economy.

After all, commercial relationships sit at the center of commerce — and payments sit at the center of commercial relationships.

That’s why the future is being built on more flexible and dynamic B2B relationships that automate with agility and ensure both the optionality and security of B2B payments. And for firms looking to capture the long-term opportunities hidden within today’s dynamic operating backdrop, innovation is increasingly looking like it might be the best plan.

This ongoing digital shift is strongly reflected in the top themes shaping the B2B landscape that PYMNTS tracked this week, which were around embracing digitization for both B2B payments and B2B marketplaces, the benefits that smarter treasury management is giving to a new generation of CFOs, and the ongoing march of automation way to unlock better business workflows.

Embracing Digital B2B Payments

With the news Thursday (June 6) that eCommerce platform Alibaba has launched a new B2B-focused marketplace solution, Alibaba Guaranteed, embracing the future of digital procurement is top of mind for buyers and suppliers across industries.

That’s why, also on Thursday, PYMNTS unpacked the reasons why as B2B procurement goes digital, B2B payments will have to follow suit.

And digitizing B2B payments is a trend that David Bork, head of accounts receivable solutions at Boost Payment Solutions, tells PYMNTS is becoming harder to ignore.

“If you automate that B2B payment through a straight-through processing type solution, it’s really to your benefit because it is going to put cash into your bank account in the most efficient way possible,” he said in an interview posted Thursday.

“AR (accounts receivable) teams are often feeling the pinch of being understaffed and overlooked … but if these AR teams can get the tools they need, they can do some amazing things to help their companies,” Bork added.

Smarter Treasury Management Builds Better Businesses

Digital payments bring benefits across organizations with greater visibility and agility.

That’s one reason why PYMNTS this week looked at how, as the CFO role evolves from a traditional controllership function to a more strategic one, the on-paper realities of both finance teams and their internal workflows are transforming, too.

“[CFOs] can’t just be siloed financial tacticians, but drivers of educational vigor around ROI discipline for all,” Burt Chao, CFO at Pushpay, told PYMNTS for the series “A Day In The Life of a CFO.”

After all, in today’s dynamic operating climate, there are no sacred cows for today’s CFOs. Every aspect of a business is subject to scrutiny and re-allocation as finance functions work to eliminate waste and clean up balance sheets.

But CFOs aren’t alone as they tackle efficiency initiatives. Earlier this week, PYMNTS Intelligence unveiled its latest report on corporate treasury challenges and opportunities. It found that corporate workflows can, and should, benefit from a number of innovations, such as automated daily reconciliation across all bank accounts and advanced cash flow forecasting.

“Cash flow can be a blind spot for the finance team,” Noam Mills, CEO at Panax, told PYMNTS in an interview posted Tuesday (June 4), adding that treasury management is entering its AI and automation era.

B2B Marketplace Movement

Given the dynamism of today’s B2B landscape, the marketplace composition remains changing on a near day-to-day basis.

On Wednesday (June 5), OneRail acquired Orderbot, saying the combination creates “a new era of streamlined omnichannel fulfillment.” The deal adds Orderbot’s inventory and order management capabilities to OneRail’s last-mile operating system and delivery network.

Also on Wednesday, SAP announced plans to acquire WalkMe to add that company’s digital adoption platforms and expand its own solutions that help customers on their digital transformation journeys.

And getting in on the action, spend management platform Payhawk is going into acquisition mode, per a Thursday report, and its efforts come at a time when traditional expense management methods are being replaced by digital solutions that speed reimbursement times and reduce the risk of human error, as PYMNTS wrote recently.

Elsewhere in the marketplace, transportation and logistics firms are reportedly considering IPOs after a stretch of cooling freight demand and a dearth of funding, per a Tuesday report.

As PYMNTS as reported, large corporations are catching up with small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in returning to business travel. While SMBs led the post-pandemic rebound in business travel, corporations are increasingly booking travel as well, per a Tuesday report.

For all PYMNTS B2B coverage, subscribe to the daily B2B Newsletter.