How a top 50 B2B marketplace stopped worrying about payments

How a top 50 B2B marketplace stopped worrying about payments

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Shep Hickey, Founder and CEO of Bryzos, a leading B2B marketplace for steel, knew that payments was standing in the way of growth. The offline, largely paper-driven processes was just not going to cut it from them. Hear, in his words, how he knew he needed something better.

Why B2B marketplace payments?

“It’s a turnkey solution and it’s f**king awesome.”

“Bryzos is a marketplace facilitator.  Our objective is to avail digital solutions to our members versus participating in transactions.  One such feature is BryzosPay.  From the very beginning it was clear that we would need to have a ‘buy now, pay later’ solution available.  That’s a tough nut to crack.     

Shep Hickey, Founder and CEO of Bryzos

Over the years, I don’t know how many Fintech companies I have researched and/or spoken might be all of them.  When Bryzos launched, we had a ‘buy now, pay later’ partner that checked many of the boxes, but there were incompatibilities that made it a cumbersome solution.        

Fast forward a couple of years...finally a B2B payment solution that checks all of our boxes.    

Balance is what I have been looking for the last 1,000 days.  Here’s the big difference between Balance and other B2B payment solutions: they get it.  Many B2B payment solutions are really retrofitted B2C payment solutions for which the underlying framework is not flexible enough for B2B transactions.    

Industry transactions are messy.  Unlike a B2C transaction, where the checkout is the last step, in B2B transactions, checkout is the first step.  It is the exception that a transaction value will remain unchanged between the time the order is placed and the invoice is paid.

B2B payments processing is not a terribly difficult thing when a platform has been built from the ground up for that purpose.  To date, and prior to Balance, it was difficult, but only because we were trying to put a square peg through a round hole.     

Discovering Balance allowed the Bryzos team to focus on our core competency and leave the transactional know-how to Balance.”  

Problem: Leading Payment Processors don’t solve the complex needs of B2B payments

“They are gonna be just like the others,” said Bryzos CEO/Founder Shep Hickey, referring to Balance. “We’ll spend a month with them and then it won’t work out for some reason.” After spending years trying various payment solutions, his frustration was legitimate - none of them provided his buyers with the experience they needed to purchase online. 

You need a solution that offers net terms and pays out your sellers on time, every time.  It needs to create transactional transparency, allowing parties to know exactly what is happening with the transaction. We also needed a solution that keeps Bryzos out of the transaction. 

“We don’t want to ‘touch’ the money.  We can’t.  Bryzos is not a licensed money transmitter and, therefore, needed the solution to be licensed in all 50 states. The timing of debit and payout are also unique within many B2B purchases, and it is essential to both verify that the buyer is satisfied with the goods post-delivery and to enable modification of transactions. Nobody out there is offering this.” 

Bryzos faced three major payment challenges:

  1. Compliance hassle: In a B2B marketplace, holding the money requires getting licensed in all 50 states. For Bryzos, this hassle had real consequences, demanding lots of time and focus. 
  2. Offering customers the terms they expect: While there were some providers of digital financing for net terms, their limits and lengthy processes often prevented buyers from purchasing. 
  3. Making payments easy and fast for buyers and sellers: If the digital experience isn’t easier or faster than calling, then it will be challenging to sell online. Bryzos needed to provide buyers with an easier and faster way to buy while ensuring sellers got paid fast, too.

Solution: Leveraging Balance's dedicated B2B marketplace checkout

After reading a PYMNTS article he’d been sent by a friend, Hickey reached out to the Balance team with low expectations. “It was very refreshing to talk to Balance - finally, someone has taken a step back and evaluated how all of this is working.

Within a week of that first call, their payment journey of 2+ years was over. His team quickly leveraged Balance to offer customers the net terms financing (with appropriately higher limits) that they’d grown to expect from the industry. Bryzos also avoided the need to jump through compliance hoops by using Balance’s auto-vendor payouts to ensure they never “touch” the money. 

Balance B2B payment flow

The cherry on top for Hickey and Bryzos, was the unexpected positive feedback not only from buyers, but from sellers. 

Solving their B2B payment pains:

  1. Compliance hassle > Solution: Balance’s auto-vendor payouts ensures a B2B marketplace never has to touch the money themselves, acting as a facilitator and not a distributor.
  2. Offering customers the terms they expect: > Solution: Balance‘s net terms financing lets Bryzos customers click to select and receive the term limits they expect.
  3. Making payments easy and fast for buyers and sellers > Solutions: Balance’s auto vendor payouts & flexible payment methods enable sellers to get paid instantly after their buyers can pay by ACH, wire, check, or card with a click.

Company Background: Bryzos makes it easier than ever to buy industrial goods

Bryzos is the online metals marketplace that facilitates trade directly between buyers and sellers.  It has been designed to streamline the trade of metal and offer great transaction solutions.  “I spent so much time unwinding problems that were very much avoidable. Most came down to human error - transcribing incorrectly or forgetting to sign a document. Steel that was supposed to end up in South Korea wound up in Texas.”
“We have a whole lot of technology today that we didn’t have in the year 1400,” Hickey thought to himself, “maybe we should use some of it??” Bryzos have since built the largest digital steel marketplace, earning them a slot as a Top 50 B2B marketplace

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