Crypto payments play catch up in the B2B space

While crypto payments have thrived in the B2C space, business payments are lagging.
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· 3 min read

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Allowing customers to pay in cryptocurrencies has been a flashy way to show your company is modern, hip, and open to accepting all forms of payment. But while the consumer space has led the way, cryptocurrency payments in the B2B realm have lagged behind. And with the latest crypto company meltdown, it’s understandable why companies may be wary.

That could be changing soon. In September, Google announced it would be accepting crypto payments for its cloud services, a B2B product, using Coinbase technology. JPMorgan and Visa also announced that they were teaming up to streamline global payments using private blockchain networks—think SWIFT, but for crypto.

But it’s still early days for crypto B2B payments adoption. Pat White, CEO of digital-asset management company Bitwave, told CFO Brew that about 10% of its customers pay Bitwave in cryptocurrency and that a massive shift hasn’t occurred yet. Moving any B2B payments to crypto would mean massive inflows into the alternative spaces given that business payments volume is estimated to be $51 trillion in 2022, according to the American Banker.

The companies that will make the first move will be those that, even with a 1% decrease in costs, will see a large chunk of change saved, such as Walmart, White told CFO Brew. Publicly, Walmart has yet to outline any specific crypto plans, but the company’s CTO, Suresh Kumar, said in October at a Yahoo All Finance Summit that “crypto will become an important part of how customers transact,” when asked what role crypto would play in Walmart’s future.

In a study from Deloitte released earlier this year, merchants were increasingly using crypto payments. Of those, 75% of transactions were B2C based and only 15% of the transactions were B2B. However, crypto payments aren’t coming from firms’ largest clients; in a digital payments survey released by the Association of Financial Professionals earlier this year, no companies polled said that their major customers were paying them in cryptocurrencies.

Much uncertainty remains around crypto accounting, which could possibly hold B2B transactions back if digital currencies can’t immediately be converted into a fiat. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released a recommendation in early October that said that companies should report digital currencies “at fair value,” (current market value) but currently, there isn’t an accepted standard to accurately represent crypto holdings in financial reporting.—KT

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