Anticipating B2B Payments Evolution With B2C Payments Trends

B2B payments company Viewpost just released a curious report: a survey on consumer payment habits and trends. Why would a corporate payments company want to dive into the world of consumers?

According to Viewpost CEO Max Eliscu, B2B payments often follows in the same footsteps as B2C.

“People are willing to embrace a more convenient, frictionless payments future,” he said in a statement last week announcing the survey results. “Paper invoicing and checks are well on their way out in the consumer setting, and more businesses across the spectrum are beginning to follow suit with transactions among their trading partners.

“But electronic invoicing and payments are just the beginning,” he continued. “The future of the payments industry is highly dependent on leveraging innovation like biometrics, data integration and a growing variety of payment methods to securely drive more volume with visibility, speed and simplicity.”

Its survey took a look at how individual consumers are interacting with these technologies as individuals, and eventually corporates, make use of “futuristic” payments technologies. We break down the highlights of the survey below.

80% of Americans are in favor of so-called “futuristic” payments technologieslike fingerprint scanning, facial recognition and other biometric tools, as well as digital currencies like bitcoin.

51% of consumers are paid electronically via direct deposit, a statistic researchers said reflects growing comfort with paperless transactions – not only among consumers but among the businesses that pay them too.

One-third said they predict paper checks will die within five years, a finding that coincides with separate research from NACHA and the Credit Research Foundation that found ACH B2B payments are expected to finally surpass paper checks by 2020. Though many analysts say businesses seem to be stuck on paper checks, 83 percent of consumers surveyed by Viewpost said they think paper checks will be gone entirely in just two decades.

11% believe businesses will bill customers with paper in the future, quite a small figure considering paper invoices are still considered quite commonplace in the B2B sphere. More than half of individuals surveyed (54 percent) also believe that companies will bill customers via automating payments from bank accounts or credit cards, while nearly the same amount said they expect B2C and C2B payments to occur via mobile app in the future too.

Half of consumers expect fingerprint technology to be used for payment and receipt confirmation over the next decade, and more than a third expect facial recognition to emerge as a leading authentication strategy. Biometric authentication has become a hot topic for both consumer and business banking, but only about a third of consumers said they trust facial recognition technology to secure electronic transactions.

31% said they expect retinal scanning to be a “viable” tool for payments authentication, and 18% said they expect to use voice control to make payments in the coming decade.

21% of consumers expect bitcoin to become a viable currency within the next decade.

According to Viewpost, “Consumers are clearly not afraid of new technologies that can make electronic transactions more secure, frictionless and, therefore, simpler.” But the percentage of consumers willing to embrace some of the most abstract technologies like bitcoin and voice recognition remain relatively low, and considering B2B payments generally lag behind B2C in technology adoption and evolution, it may take more than a decade for these tools to gain traction among corporate payers.