The payments industry is facing some incredible and exciting changes. And when it comes to the B2B sector, we believe we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg for innovation, sheer volume and value being delivered from automating payments. So, as we raise a virtual toast to 2014, we want to thank our incredible customers, partners and employees for joining us!
Here’s our take on the key trends affecting B2B ePayments in the coming year:
While the global economy continues its long slow march to recovery, businesses remain challenged to do more with fewer resources. It is incomprehensible that businesses are still asked to tolerate the prehistoric B2B payment process. In 2014 we expect to see a surge in companies looking to automate and streamline one of the last remaining paper processes in AP — namely the inefficient process of writing checks to pay vendors. We have reached a tipping point in B2B payments.
Consumer payments models are driving expectations in business-to-business payments. Consumers expect simple, fast, and mobile payment experiences, yet businesses that look to their bank to support invoice payments have found nothing simple about B2B payments. After experiencing the simplicity of consumer payment transactions they realize something is wrong. In 2014, simplicity becomes the mandate for evaluating business payment alternatives.
Unlike consumer payments, B2B payments are not one-time purchases at a store front or website. They are part of an ongoing relationship and the flow of goods or services between buyer and supplier. This ongoing flow of goods with thousands of invoices to track requires visibility, traceability, and a method of supporting ongoing communication flow between buyers and suppliers. One-way workflows aren’t adequate solutions to support these requirements. During 2014, dedicated networks will be replaced with cloud payment hubs. The cloud shines for B2B payments.
As payment hubs grow, immediate end-to-end payment support is the catalyst for delivering greater efficiencies, value and acceleration. Savvy accounts payable personnel realize the heavy lifting and strategic advantage in payments as the synergy of technology and services. Banks are unable to provide this value. So the old fashioned idea of service becomes new once more and service takes center stage.
Follow the conversation about strategic payments on Twitter at @Nvoicepay.