The growth of the B2B sector and the rapid increase in globalization have significantly increased demand for cross-border payments. Experts suggest cross-border B2B payments may exceed $40 trillion by the end of 2024, creating new opportunities and demands on the payments process.
Unfortunately, greater demands on B2B organizations complicate the process of sending international and cross-border payouts. A whopping 90% of businesses say they struggle to manage exchange rates in their B2B payments, which exacerbates inefficiency processes and decreases monthly revenue.
Existing B2B organizations may have more trouble adapting to this reality than evolving startups and scale-ups. Adapting in-place architecture can be difficult from both a financial and security standpoint, as deviation could cost thousands of dollars (and thousands more if implementors encounter any issues).
Despite these challenges, it is possible to build a resilient cross-border payment process that integrates with the system you’re already using. In fact, the use of APIs could be a proverbial silver bullet for faster and more intelligent payment processing tasks.
Let’s explore how API integrations allow B2B companies to easily send international and cross-border payouts using existing systems.
Why international B2Bs struggle with cross-border payments
Business-to-business (B2B) companies now make up nearly one-fourth of the global enterprise mix, with billions of dollars in revenue exchanged every year.
But social, technological, and financial globalization has significantly changed where B2Bs do business. In 2025, domestic payments will only account for 59% of B2B transaction value, meaning an increasing number of purchases (41%) occur across borders or in international countries with different currency types.
This leads to a number of difficulties for growing brands:
- Expensive transactions — Making international payments through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) comes with steep fees that may be hard on growing brands. Additionally, credit card processing fees and wire transfers could nickel and dime your brand while expanding into global markets.
- Lost revenue — Approximately 27% of B2B businesses say they lose between 6% and 10% of their monthly revenue on inefficient payment processes. This could cost your organization hundreds of thousands of dollars per year thanks to convoluted processes and complex systems.
- Time-consuming process — A whopping 50% of B2B professionals spend six to 10 hours per month simply managing B2B payments.
- Poor security — Not all B2B payment processes come with overwhelming votes of confidence. More than half of all B2B decision makers say cybersecurity is their number one concern, as 49% of companies report serious payment fraud attempts on their digital infrastructure.
It’s clear that international payments have become an increasingly volatile pressure point for growing B2B brands. Today, plenty of scaling industries have narrowed their payment methods to include only the safest, fastest, and most efficient solutions — including the ones outlined below.
The most common international payment methods used in B2B
Today’s B2B businesses rely on a multifaceted system of exchanging digital value. The most common payment methods used by today’s international B2Bs include:
- Banks — Bank-to-bank money transfers are extremely common for smaller B2Bs operating in international locations. Although costs may be high (and fees may be steep), bank transfers are easily navigated by customers and merchants alike.
- Credit Cards — Many business to consumer (B2C) brands lean heavily into credit and debit card payments — although B2Bs are just starting to catch up. While nearly half of B2Bs interact with them in some capacity, only 48% of brands make payments via credit, and 19% make payments via debit.
- Digital Wallets — Some B2B brands have embraced digital wallet systems to pay freelancers, contractors, and other non-employee entities. However, the cost of using an online money transfer system is still extremely high, especially when accounting for transaction fees and processing charges.
- ACH — Around 64% of B2B businesses use the Automated Clearing House to pay other firms in their networks. Although this percentage has grown over the years, it still pales in comparison to other modes of payment.
- Cash and Check — An overwhelming percentage of B2B businesses rely on cash and checks to pay merchants in their network. Research shows approximately 81% of brands issue paper checks more often than any other payment type.
It must be noted that most B2Bs only rely on one or two of these solutions at once. And even though the vast majority if B2Bs trade value through cash, check, and the Automated Clearing House, few if any of these payment methods provide opportunities to transfer digital value into other formats or varieties, such as subscriptions, gift cards, and other similar forms.
What’s more, if B2Bs want to upgrade their payments process, they must be prepared to make major sacrifices. Plenty of B2B businesses already use electronic methods to manage parts of their payments process. That means adapting current procedures or tech stacks could take hours of time, thousands of dollars, and an untold amount of internal resources.
Thankfully, there’s a far more seamless payments solution for organizations operating in the B2B market. Today, APIs for cross-border payments have become one of the best ways to navigate global disbursements by integrating with existing systems.
What are APIs for cross-border payments?
An API, also known as an application programming interface, is a type of software that helps two systems or networks communicate with one another. You might find APIs offered for virtual phone systems or larger marketing platforms (like your customer relationship management system).
The ultimate goal of an API is to integrate new applications or software into your existing software systems, leading to combined automations and efficiencies. For example, you could use your virtual phone API to sync contact information with your CRM.
Now think about these possibilities in light of cross-border payments. With an API, your B2B could seamlessly connect its existing payments platform with new opportunities or providers within a given location. You could better facilitate global money transfers without overhauling your entire system or starting from scratch.
The benefits of APIs for cross-border payments
APIs for cross-border payments also push data to various locations and increase automation potential. Users can pay or disburse money in whatever currency they prefer, either through online portals or an in-person point of sale. Additionally, APIs for cross-border payments can facilitate instant payments, which are extremely beneficial to both customers and your business.
There are dozens of benefits to an API integration in the context of global payments:
- Increased development speed — Your developers can quickly integrate existing systems with the payment platforms you want to use. This leads to less time wasted on adaptive processes and more time sending scalable payouts to vendors in your network.
- Better innovation and flexibility — The world is changing faster than many of us realize, and new technologies, channels, and payment platforms are always on the horizon. With the help of an adaptive API, your company can adjust to new in-demand payment avenues by making simple changes without rewriting code.
- Opportunities for expansion — Your business should always have the capacity to grow and expand its digital network. Cross-border payment APIs can help you do just that by connecting with tools only when you’re ready. You can scale up or down depending on your needs, which puts the power of flexibility back into your hands.
- Simpler maintenance processes — Since API is simply the gateway between two connected systems, any changes to the software code should not impact your connection. Both payment platforms and your company are free to make code adjustments without worrying about severing connections by accident.
- Customization opportunities — APIs allow you and your brand to personalize the cross-border payment process. Not only can you embed payouts directly into your existing UX, but you could also quickly add personalized features with white label customization tools.
Today, more and more decision-makers are looking to invest more heavily in B2B payment technology — including solutions designed to make global transactions easier, such as B2B cross-border payments.
How to send money through cross-border payments via API
Traditional methods of sending money through cross-border payments are complex, confusing, and expensive. Thankfully, disbursing global payments (even to large groups) is much simpler with a comprehensive API.
Here’s what it takes to send money through a cross-border API:
- Platforms like Runa remain the industry standard for hundreds of growing B2Bs, with extensive case studies and proven outcomes for businesses of any size. Be sure to ask questions about critical features like security and uptime. Runa comes with both bank-level security and industry-leading uptime for customers.
- Sign up for an account with your API provider of choice. With Runa, you can set up a free account in 15 minutes or less. You don’t have to schedule a demo unless you want to chat one-on-one with our team. Everything is easily accessible from the same easy-to-understand platform.
- Now that you have access to the API in question, it’s time to explore your options with detailed documentation and support. Runa offers a comprehensive database of API information so your team can make informed decisions about next steps. We also offer 24/7 support regardless of timezone. No matter where you are in the world, Runa can help you get started with cross-border payments ASAP.
- Next, you need to integrate your API gateway with the necessary tools in your tech stack. First, you must generate an API key. Next, you can add your payment methods to start making cross-border payments fast. Keep in mind that all money orders made through your API may be changed to your payment method. Industry-leading platforms like Runa offer ways to estimate order prices in advance so you don’t have to worry about expensive surprises in the future.
- Depending on the cross-border payments API you choose, you may be able to let recipients choose their preferred method of receiving digital value. For example, Runa lets recipients select from a wide variety of products, including gift cards from 1,300+ retailers, prepaid cards, subscriptions, cryptocurrencies, shares, and more.
Integrating with a cross-border payment API is one of the best ways to facilitate international B2B transactions. If you like what you see and are ready to learn more, we encourage you to further explore all the possibilities with the Runa API.
Making it easier with the Runa API
Fast, seamless, and immediate cross-border payments begin with comprehensive API and future-focused strategies — all of which you can gain from a platform like Runa.
Runa is an international payments platform with a powerful cross-border API. We offer unlimited mass payouts with no user caps, meaning you can reach customers and merchants quickly without reaching an arbitrary limit. Plus, we support your business at any stage of growth with bank-level security and white label solutions.
With the Runa API, you can:
- Unlock more of the world and create new customers, with access to 30 countries, 18 currencies, and 16 languages.
- Convert digital value into whatever serves your customers best, offering ways to let them choose value formats for themselves.
- Issue refunds, discounts, and even shares through a single API with powerful possibilities.
- Integrate your existing systems with Runa at lightning speed, with an onboarding time of less than one day.
- Leverage ledger-based infrastructure to convert currencies from one value to another, meaning you can easily fund in one currency and convert it to another.
But Runa’s most desirable feature isn’t part of the code — it’s the fee-free structure designed for growing B2Bs. Rather than billing monthly fees or expensive setup costs, Runa only charges for what you use. You’re not stuck with expensive credit card fees or international transfer costs, meaning you can better allocate internal resources for more efficient use.
When you’re ready to explore the Runa API for yourself, just sign up for a free account and read our documentation. We would be happy to provide you with additional details or show you all the possibilities in a comprehensive demo.