- New survey shows 66% of companies want payment integration and are keen to experiment with new B2B technologies
- Commercial cards are increasingly popular and one in five companies are now using virtual cards
The B2B payment market, worth over $100 trillion in annual transaction values, and long stifled by cumbersome and aging technology, is showing healthy signs of growth. Results of the ‘CFO Payment Pulse’ whitepaper launched by Ixaris Technologies at Money 2020 today suggests that new technologies and regulatory changes are reinvigorating a desire for change in the corporate treasury.
The survey, carried out in partnership with Accountancy Age and Financial Director, and completed by 142 CFOs and treasury managers from companies of all sizes and across all industries, states that 66 percent of respondents want payment integration with banking and accounting systems.
“Finance teams at businesses across the board believe that automation and improved efficiencies are critical in creating value for the wider business and our research illustrates a willingness to experiment with new digital solutions and payment mechanisms,” says Ixaris Founder and CEO, Alex Mifsud.
Direct debits and credit transfers are used by the majority of respondents – 86 percent and 78 percent respectively – while spend on commercial cards, currently used by two-thirds of respondents, is expected to rise in the coming year. More significantly, one in five respondents are now using virtual cards or virtual accounts to settle their bills.
Convenience and cost are unsurprisingly the key incentives for CFOs to consider new systems and technologies but ease of use far outweighs cost and other options among those surveyed. More than three quarters (77 percent) of respondents chose ease of use as the key motivation, while cost per transaction was the next most popular preference (42 percent) followed by supplier acceptance and supporting cash flow management (35 percent each).
“Although the scale of the B2B opportunity is encouraging, more needs to be done to realise the full potential of this market,” notes Dr Mifsud.
This was reiterated in interviews carried out alongside the survey. The head of commercial cards at a major European bank agrees that commercial payments is “the biggest opportunity for banks” and sees collaboration with innovators and new entrants, along with progressive regulations, as important drivers. He however acknowledges that banks and traditional payment providers have work to do to demonstrate the benefits of modern commercial payments products to large and small enterprises alike.