Chad Wallace: Fueling Innovation In B2B Payments
Chad Wallace, Global Head of Commercial Solutions at Mastercard, will be speaking at the upcoming Benzinga Fintech Deal Day & Awards. Mark Nov. 13 on your calendar for the must-attend gathering in the fintech industry!
As consumers, we hail a ride with a couple taps, and when leaving the vehicle, we know the transaction has been completed without even checking our phone. The payment process is seamless – an invisible engine that operates in the background with little thought or energy expended on our part. But if we think about the day in the life of a business and/or professional, the payments experiences we’ve come to expect as consumers – fast, simple and convenient – are still relatively nascent.
Corporates have traditionally been far slower to adopt new technologies for managing finances. Take, for example, business travel and expense management. The technology exists for a completely digitized experience, where receipt capture and submission are possible in real time as we leave a client dinner. But in reality, business travelers are too often faced with the impending doom of filing an expense report upon their return to office, including scanning and uploading a mountain of receipts.
The silver lining is that our consumer-grade dream of frictionless expense management is indeed possible in the corporate world. The path to getting there takes a willingness across companies to reengineer traditional processes and technologies.
Ending B2B Fragmentation
The current challenge for many business owners is managing the relationship between their bank and the financial platforms that they use. Keeping a corporates’ data aligned and reconciled to manage expenses, payables, receivables, and to project cash flow can be tedious requiring cumbersome integrations to facilitate automation.
But the web of complexities that previously defined the commercial payments landscape is becoming less tangled. Across the ecosystem, we’re seeing an increasing willingness from corporates to invest in new tech, to replace legacy systems, and to break down silos that once hindered their operations.
On the other side of the equation, given the need to focus on employee experience, fintechs and institutions are waking up to this opportunity to accelerate the pace of B2B payments innovation and ease the monetary burdens for corporates across the globe. At Mastercard, our unique network perspective, global footprint, and engineering expertise and scale puts us in the front seat for this transformation. We are collaborating with financial institutions, fintechs and corporates alike, to pioneer a new way of doing business when it comes to business payments.
The Industry’s Next Big Bet: Embedded Finance
The advent of the smartphone and app store has enabled the mass distribution of payments solutions to consumers globally. In the workplace, there are different dynamics at play when it comes to adopting new technology – from data security and compliance requirements to complex technical implementations – which has inherently resulted in a larger adoption curve. The rise of technology innovations, such as application programming interfaces (APIs) and the migration to the cloud, is enabling banks and fintechs to design and deliver embedded financial products. And with those integrated experiences, the once-steep adoption curve is slowly starting to flatten.
At Mastercard, we’re focused on accelerating the digitization of B2B payments for corporates with minimal cost and disruption. One way in which we’re driving this behavioral shift is by embedding virtual card payments into the platforms that enterprises are already organizing their businesses around. We are pursuing integrations with procurement and enterprise resource planning systems to place virtual cards at the center of the tools that businesses use day to day. The payment becomes a natural extension of their operations, where the payment happens in the background, similar to that seamless experience of hailing and paying for a ride as a consumer.
Empowering organizations to manage cash, access credit, secure financing and transact, all within the same integrated experience, is where the future is headed. Arriving at this destination will require players in the payments technology space to come together to explore new use cases for building embedded financial experiences. When we can partner and co-innovate to accomplish this, we’ll open a new realm of possibility in B2B payments.
To learn more about the future of business payments and the game changing opportunity of embedded finance, join my speaking session at Benzinga’s Fintech Deal Day & Awards on November 13.
Chad Wallace is the Global Head of Commercial Solutions at Mastercard and a member of the Management Committee. He leads the company's product, engineering, and business development functions for B2B products. He is responsible for overseeing Mastercard’s Commercial Card offerings, including T&E, Purchasing, Fleet and virtual card solutions, while also driving the digital transformation of corporate payments across accounts payable, procurement and treasury.
Chad joined Mastercard in March 2022 from Goldman Sachs, where he was the Global Head of Digital for Transaction Banking, responsible for building its embedded finance platform, corporate payments and liquidity digital tools. Prior to joining Goldman, Chad was the Head of Digital Experiences for the Commercial Bank at Capital One. Chad also previously held leadership roles at TD Ameritrade, E*Trade Financial and SunTrust.