Future of B2B Payments Starts with Automation and Efficiency, Finds New Bottomline, Strategic Treasurer Survey
Two-thirds of companies prefer a single payments solution over best-of-breed, accelerating need to integrate into existing technologies and offer a full suite of solutions
ATLANTA and PORTSMOUTH, NH (October 5, 2021) – The 2021 B2B Payments Survey, conducted by Strategic Treasurer and Bottomline, reveals that nearly two-thirds of companies (64%) are making the majority of their payments electronically, indicating a growth in the adoption of new payment types. Alongside this, banks are increasingly prioritizing APIs as a technology priority, up 30% from last year.
When reflecting on payment fraud, and on the back of increased fraud attempts, security and fraud prevention remains a top agenda item for respondents, with 70% of banks and 52% of corporates reporting heightened concerns compared to last year.
Among this year’s key findings:
64% of companies are making more than 50% of B2B payments electronically
AP issues, such as missing vendor information and timely approval of invoices remain a challenge
Efficiency/productivity metrics are driving firms to evaluate new payment solutions
Timely payment and remittance clarity are the top two AR challenges
Nearly three-fourths of companies are looking for banks to provide B2C payment solutions
Banks and corporates share ongoing payment security concerns as fraud attempts escalate
88% of banks rank APIs as a top technology priority compared to 54% in 2020
The fifth annual survey which polled more than 340 executives from banks and corporations, found that APIs rank above artificial intelligence/machine learning, robotic process automation and blockchain on the list of top priorities for banks. This is being driven by demand from corporate customers who are seeking system integrations and embedded payments experiences.
The survey also identified a trend toward single payments solutions, with half of banks saying their clients prefer this and 65% of corporates reporting a preference toward single solutions.
“We’re seeing increasing demand from corporates for more simplified and integrated payments processes and banks are responding to this by doubling down on their investments in APIs,” said Gunita Bindra, Vice President of Product Management and Partnerships at Bottomline Technologies. “Single payment solutions will become even more important as competition for ownership of corporate customer relationships continues to mount. Importantly, best in class fraud mitigation and compliance has become a must for AP automation vendors.”
Efficiency continues to be the top driver for payments solutions with 47% of respondents reporting efficiency as the reason to evaluate and implement new payments automation solutions. Specifically, corporate survey respondents identified ACH (61%), virtual cards (28%) and RTP (27%) as the main priorities for payment type growth. This is in addition to an increased interest in B2C payments capabilities. The survey found that nearly three-quarters of corporates (74%) are asking banks to provide B2C payments solutions.
Amid heightened threats around ransomware and fraud, payments security concerns continue to be top-of-mind for both banks and corporates, with almost half (49%) of corporations reporting serious attempts from bad actors.
“While we are continuing to see greater adoption of electronic B2B payments, more work needs to be done,” said Craig Jeffery, founder and managing partner of Strategic Treasurer. “Banks and corporates need to build upon the momentum to continue to improve efficiencies through electronic payment.”
About Strategic Treasurer:
Strategic Treasurer was founded in 2004 by Craig Jeffery, a financial expert and trusted advisor to executive treasury teams since the early 1990s. Partners and associates of Strategic Treasurer span the US, the UK, and continental Europe. This team of experienced treasury specialists are widely recognized and respected leaders in treasury. Known for their expertise in treasury technology, risk management, and working capital as well as other cash management and banking operations, they efficiently identify issues, creatively explore ideas and options, and provide effective solutions and implementations for their valued clients. For more information visit www.strategictreasurer.com
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About Bottomline Technologies
Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ: EPAY) helps make complex business payments simple, smart, and secure. Corporations and banks rely on Bottomline for domestic and international payments, efficient cash management, automated workflows for payment processing and bill review, and state of the art fraud detection, behavioral analytics and regulatory compliance solutions. Thousands of corporations around the world benefit from Bottomline solutions. Headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, Bottomline delights customers through offices across the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information visit www.bottomline.com.