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HubSpot and Stripe Optimize Digital Payments for Small Businesses

SMB, embedded finances

Small businesses don’t want embracing modern technology to be a big, technical lift.

After all, these Main Street-style companies are increasingly busy building out their growth plans and managing a laundry list of unpredictable daily realities. They don’t have the time to devote their finite resources to understanding the intricacies of implementing every new technology they see in the headlines, even transformative advances like artificial intelligence (AI).

That’s why, across the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) landscape, navigating — and investing in — digital transformations and systems innovations remains both a daunting exercise and one that is increasingly crucial for success.

“If you look in the SMB space, particularly focusing on B2B, it traditionally has had much less innovation compared to the B2C space,” Shilpa Dhar, senior vice president and general manager of commerce at HubSpot, told PYMNTS.

“Disconnect has been a primary problem, and it continues to be a theme where SMBs are blocked from having efficient workflows across various customer-facing teams,” Dhar explained. “Small businesses are engaging on the marketing side, the sales side, the service side, and as you look at their journey and as you look at their workflow, it’s extremely disconnected.”

And while SMBs have always wanted technology and tools that are quick to implement, easy to use and unified with the rest of their technology stack, they haven’t always been able to get them.

Solving for this perennial challenge faced by SMBs is where HubSpot’s new partnership with Stripe comes in, Dhar said. 

Making Digital Transformations Easier

SMBs are operating in a new reality that requires them to be not just be responsive when it comes to new innovations, but to be proactive about separating the signal from the noise and identifying new opportunities.

That proactivity requires, in many ways, the ability to look around the corner at what’s coming next.

“SMBs on the HubSpot platform manage their sales and customer data in the CRM, and they use Sales Hub to nurture their deals. Now, if SMBs start using the Commerce Hub for payments and billing solutions, all of their data across all customers and transactions is together in one place,” explained Dhar. “You have a complete view of the lifecycle.”

But if teams don’t have the right tools, small businesses won’t grow into larger ones.

By integrating payments and billing functionalities, Commerce Hub bridges the gap between disparate systems, providing SMBs with a holistic view of their operations. This integration not only enhances efficiency but also transforms cost centers into revenue drivers, Dhar explained.

“We want to help our customers simplify their billing and have it all integrated within the HubSpot ecosystem. And we make it powerful by integrating payments so it works beautifully … but a lot of these merchants are really, really small, and we want to give them the white glove service as they’re transitioning to digital payments, and help them figure out their processes,” she added about the Stripe integration. “Our customers’ biggest pain point has been accounts receivable (AR).”

PYMNTS Intelligence supports this, finding that one of the biggest uncertainties small businesses face — and are hurt by — is around late payments and clunky AR systems. 

Embedded Finance is Easy Finance

Embedded finance has emerged as a game changer amidst the backdrop of today’s landscape by facilitating SMBs’ transition to digital payments and helping them more effectively streamline their billing processes. This integration also enables customer support teams to access comprehensive data, improving their ability to respond to customer inquiries and support needs effectively.

As Dhar explained, by automating workflows and providing real-time insights into AR, SMBs can be more empowered to tackle late payment and fortify their financial health without getting hung up on just one or two problem areas, addressing pain points comprehensively instead.

That’s why Spotlight, HubSpot’s biannual showcase of innovations, is being refreshed to equip SMBs with insights into upcoming features, enabling them to maximize their benefits proactively.

“First and foremost, we’re bringing support and success together on the same platform. … Traditionally, these teams, who often both belong to the same Customer Experience (CX) department, are using different software. And that disrupts the flow of critical insights and data between teams, and ultimately impacts productivity. For customers, it means a disjointed experience, contributing to the fact that 98% of consumers find customer service interactions frustrating,” Paul Weston, senior director of product and general manager of Service Hub at HubSpot, told PYMNTS.

By embracing digital innovation, SMBs can keep customer retention, and business growth, going up.