Accounts Payable

Six Payment Methods AP Departments Like More Than Paper Checks

When it comes time to pay suppliers, most accounts payable (AP) professionals will use whichever payment method they need to get the job done — but most are unhappy with what they currently use. Paper checks are AP departments’ seventh-favorite way to pay suppliers, yet 80.8 percent use them anyway.

If given the choice between checks, digital wallets and ePayables, AP professionals would prefer to pay suppliers using digital payment solutions. As much as 73.9 percent of AP professionals are very or extremely satisfied with paying via digital wallets, and 68.9 percent are very or extremely satisfied with ePayables. By comparison, their satisfaction rate for paper checks is just 63.5 percent.

Even so, as little as 11.1 percent of businesses currently pay suppliers using digital wallets, and just 11.4 percent of firms pay suppliers using ePayables. So, what’s holding back AP professionals from using digital payment innovations, and what will it take to sway them?

In the first edition of the Payables Friction Playbook, in collaboration with Corcentric, PYMNTS delves into the details of what AP professionals want, what they use and how they believe their firms can benefit from implementing electronic AP innovations.

PYMNTS surveyed 2,750 AP professionals from across the United States to get an insider’s look at why firms use the payment methods they do, and in what circumstances, to receive invoices and make payments. By asking these questions, PYMNTS was able to compose a comprehensive overview of the current AP landscape, and how digital AP innovations are set to change it going forward.

According to respondents, some of the biggest benefits of digital AP innovation include increased speed, convenience and enhanced protection from fraud.

While 44.5 percent said they are satisfied paying suppliers via ePayables with virtual cards, 47.9 percent said paying via ePayables provides convenience and 30.3 percent said it enhances their protection against fraud. Meanwhile, among AP professionals who are satisfied with digital wallets, 43.5 percent said it is because of convenience and 40 percent said it is because they are fast. As much as 33.9 percent cited increased fraud protection as their reason.

It follows that these professionals would seek to adopt digital AP solutions like these — in fact, 28 percent said they would like their firms to adopt ePayables in the future. Other innovations they would like to implement include automated order matching (cited by 43.8 percent), eInvoicing (56.9 percent) and AI systems (24.6 percent).

Yet, AP professionals’ preferences are not the only factors that determine payment methods’ adoption rates. To learn more about what drives AP professionals’ digital AP innovation adoption, download the report.

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