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How To Pick The Right B2B Payment API Provider For Your Business

By Jay Dahal, co-founder of Machnet. Build your remittance & international payment products.

Digital businesses are growing across the map, and things we used to always carry around, like hard cash, now seem obsolete to some.

That’s the beauty of humanity—our ability to grow through our experiences.

And with everything the world has gone through, we’ve created systems that extend opportunities to people around the globe. “Borderless” has been a consistent buzzword because the once unthinkable is a few taps away!

Sending payments to another country doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive—especially for businesses! Whether you operate in multiple countries or have a diaspora of team members across the globe, sending money should feel borderless. As per The World Bank, on average, the global cost of sending just $200 was 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Think of small businesses that have to regularly pay contractors, or organizations that consistently send or receive relief funds, or two startups wanting to collaborate from different continents. Think of businesses that need payment rails to power payroll across the world. That’s a lot of manual accounting work for CFOs and accountants without a reliable dashboard powered by a robust B2B API provider. Some even have to send twice because the transaction fees ate up a part of what they were trying to send. That 6.5% is a huge chunk of profit that could be the difference between life or death, making the right B2B API crucial for your business.

Unfortunately, not all APIs are built the same. So before committing to a provider, look into whether your B2B API can provide your business with features that can equip you for the future. Ask yourself these questions and determine if your provider is worth every penny.

Can they provide effective and secure communications?

Until very recently, a lot of industries still believed that the safest way to send over data was through fax machines. And while they get the job done, an effective B2B API can do it faster, more conveniently and more reliably. An effective B2B API should let you collect and secure information across different sources through your system. This secured data then becomes “trusted data,” meaning it has been sifted through, has proven virus-free and has only been from point A to point B without unnecessary pit stops.

With this level of data security, you can partner with software providers to build API. And when your internal communications have proven effective and secure, you can standardize that, making it easier for all stakeholders involved.

Does your B2B API compound inherited data?

Data is your best friend! The more you know about your clients’, partners’ and users’ behavior, the better you can adjust your business to serve their needs. The B2B API you choose shouldn’t just collect information, but understand it, too. Through this process, it should be able to validate the information and give you suggestions based on your past and current digital behaviors.

For example, if the API detects that you order coffee from the same place at the same time every day, it can learn this behavior and eventually help you make it more convenient to do. You can take these insights to build services that work better for your end users. Make sure your API can collect and translate these inherited data because that can give you the edge to keep innovating and scaling.

Does it come with a seamless user experience?

The better your B2B API is, the better the experience your clients and external partners can have. And the better their experience, the better your business can be perceived, so don’t underestimate the user experience your API provides. Look for a B2B API that allows you to integrate and move money regularly and build features that your users demand, such as repeat payment, coupon codes for holidays, investment change options and more.

A few hit features in the API space include digital wallets that allow your end users to control their assets—holding their funds, making purchases, transferring to other wallets and even auto-debit functions. The objective is to look for an API that can support your business and take care of the features your clients love.

Will it allow you to build reusable services?

One of the more essential functions of an API provider is buildability. Successful businesses prioritize client retention, and reusable or stackable services are a big factor in making that happen. When your clients keep doing the same thing, you know it matters to them.

Is your API built well enough to adapt and turn those services into use cases? Another thing to consider is repurchasing—will returning clients have to go through the same purchase process? Good B2B APIs should allow you to incentivize returning clients by creating an easier and faster onboarding process.

The data economy tells us how relevant it is for companies to track their activities and look into integration, collaborations and processes. Having the right insight into these allows you to lower your operational costs, improve client retention and scale your customer base.

When you have a reliable B2B API, your company can quickly adapt and innovate—allowing you to scale worldwide. B2B APIs are part of the future of digital business, so before settling on a B2B API provider, scout for your options and do your research. Consider factors like cost, security, scalability, user experience, customer service, build complexity and any other features you may need. Compare and contrast different providers to narrow down your best choice.

Ask potential B2B API providers to let you test the product in a sandbox so you can see how you feel. Ask these providers to refer you to an existing client and get their feedback on the API, its features/reliability, etc. That should give you good insight into how helpful it has been for their businesses. Finding the right B2B API provider for your business is like finding a partner for life—know what you want, understand what you’re getting yourself into and make sure your values line up.

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