As we close out 2018 and head into 2019 technology trends in the B2B Payment environment will define efficiency outcomes for a wide array of B2B organizations. Adopting a proactive view on leveraging payment automation is critical to reduce the risk of fraud, enhance visibility into reporting and most importantly improve the experience for your clients. Here are a few areas to focus on for next year.
The Evolution of B2B Relationships
The B2B payment systems industry will continue to rapidly grow in 2019 as more companies transact purchases online and pay their receivables through digital channels. Thus, sophistication of the payment processing environment is ever changing to maintain efficiency and security. As more volume is moving through these channels the reporting and data management capabilities becomes ever more critical. Many B2B payment processors (the forward thinking ones) are providing their clients with a wide array of reporting options to allow for greater transparency and efficiency. These technologies allow for businesses to achieve a dramatic savings in time, which produces better outcomes in many areas of the organization.
Digital Payment Growth
Transactions continue to migrate away from the traditional payment process (paper check) and are rapidly moving to the digital environment. According to Deloitte, B2B digital payments are forecasted to reach $23.1 trillion in 2020. With this major shift occurring organizations in the B2B space and specifically finance departments, need to be prepared to handle these growing payment volumes as customers will be much more inclined to use technology as part of their procurement and payment process.
Developing a secure, efficient and viable financial model which provides automation in the area of AR is cornerstone to developing an effective B2B payment solution. The challenge most companies have in developing systems like this come down to expertise and resources. In plain terms, most organizations can’t effectively build these systems. Best practices indicate that organizations should look to their B2B payment partner to identify capabilities that facilitate the buildout and management of this system. Organizations who use automation software have a significant advantage as these systems allow for automated communication and delivery, saving time and increasing cash flow by reducing the duration from initial invoice submission to payment acceptance.
Customers and their purchase/payment activities are the primary drivers for innovative technology in the B2B payment industry. Organizations need to have effective solutions in place for a wide range of payment scenarios like ACH, credit card, direct deposit, check, virtual card, wire transfer, etc. Talk with your payment processor to make sure that you have the right environment to service a variety of purchase and payment options. Your customers place a significant value on flexibility and ease of use when it comes to purchase and payments, and especially as global transactions increase you need to insure that your organization is positioned to have efficient/secure payment technology.
“Set it and Forget it” is not an option
Make it a priority to set aside time to investigate your current payment systems and reach out to your payment partner to determine what areas of your current system need to be addressed to generate the best outcomes for your business. These conversations can be highly impactful.