Marketplace platforms at the forefront of B2B scaling in 2023

Friday 3 February 2023 08:55 CET | Editor: Raluca Ochiana | Interview

Luke Trayfoot, Chief Revenue Officer at MANGOPAY, makes the case for B2B marketplaces and platforms being at the forefront of a scaling market in 2023.


One of the most important goals of B2B platforms is scaling. How should they provision for international expansion when it comes to payments?

Scaling varies significantly depending on the type of B2B marketplace. Freight forwarders, for example, are a very global type of business model. In order for them to really scale, a payment provider has to be able to offer the buyer terms for payments. This is critical to scale cashflows effectively.

The second part is the supply side. In B2B, the supply side is driving the demand. On the one hand, there are digital-native B2B marketplaces, and on the other hand, there are incumbents that are slowly moving more digitally. As each type of business starts to get verticalised, they need to drive supply to increase the matchmaking demand between the two parties. On a more granular view, some of these marketplaces are very global, while some of them are actually quite domestic.

However, the bigger these marketplaces get, the more global their networks are. Looking more closely at smaller marketplaces, one notices that they are really geared towards SMB buyers, while larger suppliers will be a fairly global chain because they've got smaller buyers and larger sellers. In between these two market segments, there is still a lot of lagging when it comes to the digital payment flow. In terms of cross-border payments, language, KYC, and e-invoicing are all big factors that need to be taken into account. A flywheel of processes has to be in place, with the supply side covered and the transaction processes in motion, all leading to the marketplace acting as the middle ground between buyers and sellers and being effectively the transactional administration.

This process becomes even more complex in B2B because it ends up being all about order fulfilment and the after-sales value chain. How do you handle disputes and resolutions between two large businesses? It's very different to B2C. If a marketplace manages to set in place good policies and processes to master all the elements of the value chain, they're in a pretty good spot to be able to grow.

Experts talk about a multi-rail strategy as a winning ticket to making B2B payments stable in real time. What are the holy (g)rails of B2B cross-border payments?

In terms of the usual understanding of the value of multi-rail strategies and payments orchestration, B2B is slightly different to other segments. For B2B, it's not necessarily just down to redundancy or having a cost-benefit analysis of multiple parties in order to route transactions. It's more about having fewer transactions, but of higher value. In this context, a multi-PSP orchestration logic gets you a lot of fall-over so that you can offer optionality to a buyer when it comes to payment methods.

The second layer to the orchestration strategies informing decisions for B2B platforms relates to having a mix of third- and first-party. You want to be able to orchestrate payments by allowing the buyer to maybe buy something directly from the marketplace, but also from a third party in a single motion. This can lead to complex processes. Typically, you would see platforms having multiple providers to be able to orchestrate those different payment needs: a third-party item in the basket has to be routed through one provider, while the first party goes to another provider, and so on.

Lastly, we need to mention seeing a big shift in what is effectively B2B Buy Now, Pay Later – or 'Pay in Net Terms'. BNPL is very specific in terms of its underwriting and requirements for B2B outside of your typical consumer BNPL or ‘Pay in 3’ products such as the ones provided by Klarna, for instance. Outside of B2C, you will see a lot of unique B2B players such as Hokodo enable a buyer to pay on net terms, but without the platform having to underwrite the payment risk. In B2B, the cashflow risk has to go somewhere in that chain. If it doesn't go onto the buyer, it goes onto the marketplace. If it doesn't go onto the marketplace, it goes to the seller. And if it goes onto the seller, you run the risk of losing the supply side. And so this multiple-provider logic helps when you're trying to fill risk gaps, while also allowing businesses to be a lot more agile. If your business plan is to shift or pivot slightly or into a new geography and your first provider doesn't serve that geography (or that type of payment flow, or that transaction type) you can pivot very quickly.

Looking into 2023, what are some currently visible payments trends B2B platforms should take into account when devising their cross-border expansion strategy?

I think we previously touched on probably one of the largest trends looking into 2023, which is the invoice-discounted Buy Now, Pay Later trend, which will continue to grow.

What I actually think is going to become very interesting in 2023 as we look at the macro-economic climate and global supply chains is the fact that payment providers, third parties, and the marketplace platforms themselves are all getting a lot deeper into the importance of credit decisioning, credit insurance, and the financing and collection of all those money flows. First and foremost, more than ever, this is becoming a lot more digitalised. Just by doing that, we should in theory have better and quicker credit decisions along with a better experience for the buyer and seller.

The continued growth of the B2B platform market has its tailwinds in digitalisation, because it is always going to work far better than going through a paper-based format (i.e., slow credit decision-making high interest, high inflation environments).

Lastly, we know that venture capital invested around USD 16 billion in B2B in 2021, and that's roughly 20% of global marketplace financing. Thus, there is a massive embrace of this sector by corporates, VCs, and other money-backed institutions. Our bets are placed on the fact that, in 2023, we'll see continued growth, investment, and financing into the B2B space because there's so much upside that could be had through the digitalisation of the sector.

This editorial piece was first published in The Paypers' Cross-Border Payments and Ecommerce Report 2022–2023, which taps into the fast-growing cross-border market and provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments that are pivotal in this space, being the ultimate source of information for ecommerce businesses interested in expanding globally. 

About Luke Trayfoot

Heading up the UK office, Luke Trayfoot joins the MANGOPAY Executive Leadership Team to lead MANGOPAY's expansion overseas and drive the company’s growth. With over a decade's experience in the payments and marketplace industry, Luke Trayfoot has a strong track record of scaling tech and payment companies with also a deep understanding of the top marketplaces challenges. With knowledge in digital marketplaces, cross-border trade, and payment environments, Luke will focus on developing new markets, enabling MANGOPAY’s customers to expand their business globally and deliver growth and profit objectives.


MANGOPAY empowers the platform economy with its unique and comprehensive payments ecosystem. Created in 2013, MANGOPAY serves 2,500+ leading marketplaces and innovative scale-ups. Built around its programmable escrow and ledger solution, MANGOPAY’s end-to-end ecosystem covers all platform payment needs with total integration flexibility and workflows for every business model.

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Keywords: cross-border payments, B2B payments, ecommerce, digitalisation
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Mangopay
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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