Businesses Want More From Their Banks
Earlier this week, BC Krishna, MineralTree CEO and Founder, and Nancy Atkinson, Senior Analyst at Aite Group, hosted a webinar titled “Commercial Business Payment Trends” which explored how companies are making payments, and how banks can improve the payments process for businesses.
Consumer vs. Business Payments
Consumers and businesses make payments differently. The number of checks written from 2009 to 2012 decreased for consumer-to-consumer, consumer-to-business, and business-to-consumer payments, which is not surprising since consumers are leading the way in adopting electronic payment methods. Unfortunately, business-to-business check usage declined by a mere 3.7%. Why aren’t businesses adapting? Atkinson reported that the main reasons paper check usage remains so high is due to high acceptance rates among businesses of all sizes, and simply, the routine habit of processing check payments.
Small Business Payment Trends
While most B2B payments still use paper checks, a new trend is emerging. Businesses, particularly small businesses, are desiring more advanced payment methods beyond the bill pay capabilities currently offered by their banks. The main reason many small businesses resort to making check payments is due to their lack of understanding the electronic payments landscape and the tools available to them. And, this is an area where banks can improve their relations with these small businesses to offer them tools and resources to increase awareness.
Interested in the full webinar?
Watch here or download the slides here.
B2B Payment Trends
Beyond the above statistics, more than 65% of small businesses stated they would benefit from some type of rules-based engine or payment wizard if their bank offered it. Knowing this, how can banks better serve small businesses? By educating their clients, and partnering with technology providers.
Educating their clients includes:
- Introducing electronic processes
- Informing clients about technology opportunities
- Partnering with clients to evaluate and segment partners
- Assisting with migration plan from paper to electronic parts
Partnering with technology providers means:
- Identifying and choosing partners with key capabilities, such as document imaging, workflow management, and hosted solutions
- Working with innovative partners who continuosly improve their solutions as technology changes
- Ensuring partners support the sizes and needs of the entire bank client base
- Finding partners who truly understand the financial services industry and marketplace
Bill Pay for Businesses
Businesses are looking for solutions that will improve their financial pains. And, it’s necessary for banks to deliver solutions that meet those needs. Bill pay is not working, and customers want more than the basic functionality bill pay provides. Fewer than 5% of a bank’s business customers use online bill pay. Those who do quickly grow out of bill pay to go back to paper checks or, even worse, a non-bank competitor.
Businesses can now benefit from OCR technology to automatically extract invoice data, a document management solution with unlimited storage, workflow and approvals automation, and payment automation that includes all types of electronic payments.