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Alibaba Bridges Cross-Border B2B Buyer-Seller Trust Gap

Legacy cross-border payment methods that may have been inconvenient but endurable in 2019 no longer serve firms’ needs in 2020.

Last year saw 68 percent of companies using wire transfers to transact with international business partners, but more firms are now regarding this approach as too friction-heavy. Businesses also may find paper checks to be untenably slow and cumbersome to issue or receive from far-flung partners, and such trends are causing a growing global momentum for adopting swifter, more streamlined accounts payable (AP) tools and business-to-business (B2B) payment methods.

The December Back-Office Optimization Playbook examines how the pandemic is driving a trend toward international payments innovation and AP modernization.

Around The Business Digitization Space

The pandemic is pushing firms to revamp their domestic and cross-border payments approaches and abandon manual processes. Many may find that these updates were long overdue, crisis or no. A report found 47 percent of respondents predicting that switching to digital B2B payments would reduce their costs and 42 percent anticipating greater payment data security.

Companies looking to modernize their systems are finding automation technologies to be particularly compelling investments. Firms that have applied artificial intelligence (AI)-powered automations to their B2B operations are reporting a 52 percent decrease in errors and 17 percent reductions in the amount of staff time that must go into payment processes.

Businesses also stand to save by automating their invoice processing and moving away from manual practices. Findings suggest that companies spend $500 billion a year on average to support AP department expenses like late fees, processing fees and staffing. AP automations like robotic processing automation can trim down costs, however, and significantly reduce the amount of time employees must spend on these tasks.

Find more on these and the rest of the latest headlines in the Playbook.

Alibaba On Digitizing Cross-Border B2B Payments

Companies are struggling to maintain steady revenue flows during the global economic and health crisis and may look abroad as they seek to expand their customer bases — and thus their revenue bases. Transacting across borders can be difficult, however, especially for small businesses with little prior experience handling international payment flows.

Kivanc Onan, head of payments and financial products strategy of North America B2B for major technology company Alibaba explains in the Feature Story how the international B2B market is changing due to the pandemic and what it takes to meet sellers’ new digital needs.

Check out the Playbook to read the full story.

Deep Dive: The Pandemic-Driven Push For Digitizing Cross-Border Transactions

The economic crisis has left businesses cash-strapped and focused on ensuring that their international payments are as cost-effective as possible. This is prompting companies to adopt digital tools to help them accept and deliver payments more efficiently.

The Deep Dive details how new trends are playing out as companies around the world shift from conducting B2B transactions via manual processes to instead using digital ones.

Find the full story in the Playbook.


The Back-Office Optimization Playbook, done in collaboration with Coupa and TransferMate, is your go-to monthly resource for updates on trends and changes in cross-border B2B payments automation.

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