Reports suggest the B2B ecommerce sector is growing at a rapid rate and could even eclipse the B2C market. Citing data from Forrester Research, which projects B2B ecommerce to earn $559 billion in revenues this year, technology expert Bill Steele wrote in a column for Manufacturing Business Technology that the growing demand for services requires businesses to step up their security capabilities.
In a post for B2BOnline, blogger Tom Nightingale describes some of these demands. Ultimately, many purchasing agents in the B2B sphere desire many of the same features and benefits that they would expect to receive in a B2C ecommerce environment, including increased functionality and customization.
"Essentially, they want everything a B2C site delivers and more," Nightingale wrote. "And because there are often multiple decision-makers at B2B companies, testing and complex customization is often necessary, requiring innovation and expertise."
A third-party B2B ecommerce solution could be the answer for business websites that wish to provide this type of experience to their customers without harboring undue risk related to payment security and compliance with the Payment Card Industry's (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS), Steele added.
"Solution providers that are Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant enforce a robust set of security standards that dictate how sensitive data must be stored, transmitted and processed," he said, adding that a third-party provider that is already PCI compliant saves the B2B merchant the time and expense needed to satisfy this standard themselves.
Tokenization is one of the strongest tools available for PCI compliance. As we have described in previous blog posts, the concept creates a secure token that stores sensitive purchaser information off-site. As a result, transaction and payment data is not locally stored on a B2B website, vulnerable to attack, and merchants are more easily able to avoid the penalties and reputational damage associated with PCI non-compliance.