Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Payments | B2B Finance Glossary
What Are B2C Payments?
B2C is “business-to-consumer” and refers to a business's payments to a consumer (an individual customer). The consumers that participate in B2C payments are usually a person or a small business that receives money from a company.
What Are the Different Types of B2C Payments?
There are a few key uses for B2C transactions. Here are the most common ones:
Suppose a merchant makes an error or does not deliver the promised good or service to the customer in the way that it was advertised. In that case, the merchant may refund the customer by returning the funds the customer initially paid.
Refunds can benefit companies by allowing merchants to create lasting relationships and generate customer loyalty. Customers can get their payments efficiently by issuing refunds through digital payment channels; however, some businesses still choose to issue refunds via paper check.
A rebate is an amount of money returned to a customer after a transaction is completed. Rebates are different from discounts because, in the instance of a rebate, a consumer will pay for something in full, and then, at a later point in time, part of the full payment amount that was made will be returned to that same consumer; discounts, on the other hand, offer an opportunity for customers to purchase goods and services at a fraction of what those goods and services typically cost.
Businesses usually offer rebates as a marketing tactic: customers are drawn to deals that offer cash back on expensive items.
When a business makes a rebate payment to a customer, that business is engaging in a B2C payment. If businesses use digital channels to make rebate payments, they can also benefit from the data capabilities that come as a result of these near-instant payments and the individually curated marketing messages that they can send along with them.
Insurance companies are businesses that cover expenses for policyholders who are owed for any damages they receive to their personal property or physical well-being during the period they are covered by their insurance. When an insurance company issues property or casualty claims payments to their policyholders, they make a B2C payment because the payment goes from the insurance company (the business) to a policyholder (a consumer).
Paying and Reimbursing Employees
Most businesses run payroll biweekly, meaning they have to pay their employees and contractors once every two weeks to compensate them for their contribution to the company. This is another example of a standard B2C payment: funds are moving from the business to individuals on a regular schedule, whether that’s through paper check payments, direct deposits, or some other form of digital payment.
How are B2C Payments Different from B2B, C2B, or C2C Payments?
B2C payments can easily be confused with other common payment types, including B2B, C2B, and C2C payments. Let’s take a look at how each of these forms of payment differs from one another and what makes B2C payments unique:
C2B is “consumer-to-business” and refers to consumer payments to companies in exchange for goods and services. An example of this kind of payment would be a consumer buying shoes from a department store or purchasing makeup from a website.
Another example of a C2B payment would be an individual purchasing a plane ticket from an airline company. In a C2B transaction, money flows from a person (the customer) to a business (the seller).
C2C stands for “consumer-to-consumer” and refers to payments made from one consumer to another: e.g., one individual might pay another individual back for a pizza they bought together the night before. Venmo and PayPal are examples of payment platforms that facilitate C2C transactions.
Consumers can also purchase goods from other consumers through certain platforms that facilitate resale purchases. For example, a consumer might buy a designer handbag from another consumer on eBay or a similar platform. In C2C transactions, no businesses send or receive money to consumers; the payments are solely transferred from one consumer to another (but they might go through a third-party business platform that makes the transaction possible for a fee).
B2B payments, on the other hand, do not include individual people (consumers) in the payment process. They only refer to payments made from one business to another. For example, a business might need to purchase CRM software from another business.
The business that is the seller of this software will likely have a large sales team in charge of educating potential consumers about the benefits of the CRM software. This company is also likely to have a robust customer support team that can help answer any questions and solve any issues that may arise for the business acting as the customer. Customer support and sales teams work to onboard new customers and ensure they have everything they need to integrate the purchased software into their business.
B2B companies usually sell products and services to help enhance essential business operations, including accounting software, ERP systems, HR software, and more.