Digital wallets have been around for awhile now. Long enough that there are literally hundreds of wallet apps out there. So many, in fact, that review sites now categorize them in several buckets -- mobile wallets, peer-to-peer wallets, phone-specific wallets, alt-currency wallets, bank and credit card wallets, loyalty card wallets, etc.
Meanwhile, digital B2B payments, like other B2B applications, lagged behind the consumer market. Perhaps the lag was due to use cases that are more complex and the time and effort required for integration within business workflows. But digital B2B payments are now growing rapidly. Digital transformation is now touching nearly every business, no matter their industry or company size, and digital payments is one element of the transformation. One way this transformation is being accomplished is through the use of digital wallets.
One type of digital wallet not often found on the review sites is a stored-value digital wallet. You can think of it as a digital version of the stored value card without the limitations physical cards present.
Stored-value digital wallets are contained within a payments platform to securely store an account-holder’s payment assets alongside all the account’s transaction information. By using stored-value digital wallets, users can send and receive payments instantly through wallet-to-wallet transactions while easily transferring their assets to and from external accounts.
An additional benefit is that any account can store as many single-currency digital wallets as desired: US dollar, euro, pound, yen, etc. A multi-currency account then can complete a currency exchange between its wallets wholly within the account (and at much lower FX rates than traditional banks).
These stored-value digital B2B wallets can be embedded in any business application or systems to enable customers to pay and suppliers to invoice through wallet-to-wallet transactions completed fully within the platform. Account holders using the platform can then transfer funds into or out of the platform to their company or personal bank accounts or to other endpoints such as a Virtual Visa, Visa debit card or digital gift cards.
This combination of stored-value and in-platform FX creates a much smoother, nearly instant cross-border payment transaction at lower cost, offering greater transparency. The potential B2B use cases seem limitless and the ability to incorporate payment workflows within business applications relatively easy to accomplish. Whether these come as improvements to existing business applications and workflows or by adding new payments services to applications to increase revenue and customer retention, depends on the business. No matter the use case, the end user experience can be transformed with faster payments and greater choice in how they choose to receive payment.