Business to Business eCommerce

B2B ecommerce solutions differ from B2C ecommerce in one key area - Payments

B2B ecommerce sites are at a disadvantage when they misappropriate a B2C payment gateway or provider. 

Today’s B2B ecommerce platforms include full-featured shopping carts, unfortunately many of these platforms still rely on consumer-oriented payment gateways to process card payments at checkout.  The type of cards being used at checkout in business-to-business environments are more likely to be commercial card products like a corporate card, a business card, a purchasing card or GSA (government) purchasing card (or p-card).

Key take away:  To properly accept purchasing, government and commercial card payments requires a B2B eCommerce system with support for Level 3 card processing in order to qualify for the best Interchange rates available. 

Tokenization and PCI Data Security

Your B2B ecommerce platform should specify a data tokenization solution that outsources the collecting, transmitting and storing of sensitive payment data.

  • Data security is a top priority for businesses as the risk of compromise becomes more damaging and expensive. In B2B ecommerce environments where repeat and recurring business and government orders are the norm, tokenization is an important component of your payment acceptance strategy. Tokenization replaces sensitive data - like primary account numbers (card or checking) with a “token”. Tokenization removes the value of the data to criminals while maintaining its value to your business. With no contact to sensitive payment data, you can dramatically reduce your Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance scope and provide significant risk mitigation.

Different Rules for B2B Transactions

A Vantage B2B ecommerce consultation will help you design your work flow in a way to help solve common problems including issues of unknown shipping charges at time order is placed, back orders, out of stock, multiple fulfillment such as different locations, multiple shipping charges, multiple delivery schedules, etc.

  • What most merchants know (have always done) is to use Authorization Only and Force procedures. However the problem is that the card companies have changed their rules over the years and now strongly discourage this practice. For example, today Visa B2B transactions MUST have a matching authorization amount and settlement amount. The Visa system performs edit checks and may reject the transaction altogether (causing the merchant to reprocess the transaction with a matching Authorization and Settlement amount in order to be paid).  Also, transactions performed initially with an Authorization Only that are later Forced for settlement can NOT qualify for Level 3 pricing. Penalty transaction fees are also charged for unused authorizations, zero dollar auths, etc.

A Vantage Payment Advisor can help recommend best practices to avoid these issues.