PORTSMOUTH, NH and PEACHTREE CITY, GA–Bottomline and Strategic Treasurer released the results of the 2020 B2B Payments Survey. Results show a perception gap between banks and corporate respondents, with the potential to close that gap appearing in banks’ investments in payment solutions.

The data also shows rising fraud concerns, increasing perceptions of vulnerability in accounts payable (AP), spending plans emphasizing cash flow forecasting, and integration issues driving the search for new fintech solutions.

This survey’s questions probed several specific areas, including payments intensity, payment security, payables services and technology, working capital, as well as planned technology spend. Details were gathered about corporate use and sentiment surrounding FinTech solutions and bank solutions, views on fraud vulnerabilities, and opinions and plans regarding emerging technologies such as API, RPA, mobile banking, and blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Among the top findings:

  1. More than half of corporate customers see their banks as investing in innovative payment solutions. Results showed a perception gap between banks and their corporate users, with 76 percent of banks feeling their payable services are above average, while only 41 percent of corporate users of those services said their needs are addressed well or extremely well. However, 57 percent of corporate respondents believe their banks are investing in innovative payment solutions, potentially addressing and closing this gap.
  2. Fraud concerns mount, losses blamed on AP. For respondents who had experienced fraud losses recently, 68 percent listed AP as the department ultimately held responsible for the breach. Other questions showed rising concern regarding fraud in 2020, but respondents nonetheless insist that their own organization’s payment processes are secure, with only 5 percent indicating otherwise.
  3. Spending plans prioritize cash flow forecasting. When asked about their spending plans for technology related to payments, respondents emphasized solutions assisting with cash flow forecasting as the top priority. APIs and AP automation technology were also frequently included in companies’ spending plans.
  4. Integration shown as the top reason companies switch payment automation providers. For companies breaking the inertia to switch payment automation providers, over half cited integration problems as the chief cause. A quarter of respondents indicated that their reason was rationalizing systems to reduce connectivity.

More extensive results from the survey are available via a downloadable report, an infographic, and a webinar replay from October 13, 2020 available on Strategic Treasurer’s website. The webinar features Brian Greehan from Bottomline and Craig Jeffery of Strategic Treasurer.

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