UMB: Commercial Cards and Mobile Payments Mean Better B2B Commerce

September 12, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

For regular shoppers, the business-to-consumer (B2C) market, mobile payments have proven their value consistently for years now. Convenience, transaction speed, and a growing number of use cases make it crystal clear just how worthwhile this concept is. Yet here, an entire market segment is somewhat neglected, as the business-to-business (B2B) market has considerably less going on therein. A new report from the UMB Financial Corporation, meanwhile, says that could be changing with two key factors.

Those key factors? A combination of commercial cards and mobile apps, which together are speeding up and slimming down B2B ecommerce operations in the same way regular cards and mobile apps are doing the same for the B2C segment. The B2B market, UMB’s director of bank products Uma Wilson notes, is now the focus of major new pursuits as banks chase what Wilson referred to as the “holy grail” for banks, user experience.

This is why commercial cards and mobile apps work so well: the combination allows for faster transactions, better reconciliation, improved visibility into spending and control thereof, and digital payments operations.

UMB itself recently got in on that action when it teamed up with Fraedom, which opened up access to the Fraedom expense management platform. Fraedom’s platform, when tied into a commercial card, allows for new visibility into spending and control. Immediately following this new connection, the duo will work to create a mobile app that incorporates the whole concept.

With a report from Capital One noting that more than half of surveyed professionals don’t have access to a mobile app that connects to their various corporate cards, the opportunity here becomes clear; offer up not only that connection, but built into a mobile app that allows for that desired transparency. That’s just what UMB and Fraedom are doing, so it likely won’t be surprising to see more banks and the like follow suit.

The B2C side of mobile payments has been much of the focus in mobile payments. We’ve also seen some straight C2C thanks to peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment systems like Venmo. B2B operations, meanwhile, haven’t exactly been taking off, which leaves a hole in the market that’s more than ready for a major new push from operations like UMB / Fraedom.