Coronavirus

More ‘No-Touch Payments’ For B2B

“We anticipate that the COVID-19 crisis may be the catalyst for ending manual check printing and mailing in B2B payments,” Neal Anderson, president and CEO of OnPay Solutions, told PYMNTS. “Migrating to no-touch electronic payments is imperative, and moving to an online, automated system can keep the wheels of a business – and our whole economy – turning.” Learn how OnPay sees business reemerging post-COVID in Black Swan, a special report exclusively from PYMNTS.

The following is an excerpt from Black Swan, contributed by OnPay Solutions President and CEO Neal Anderson.

More ‘No-Touch Payments’ for B2B

Black swan events, while unexpected and challenging, open the door to the implementation of adaptive processes to meet the demands of the new environment and the underlying infrastructure, supporting the “new normal” that is created as a result. The coronavirus pandemic will be no different.

We should expect to see the launch of new businesses and the growth of existing businesses to support a plethora of hands-off, automated capabilities that don’t depend on staff. In addition, it will result in the adoption of more no-touch processes, and services that provide disaster “survival” for the largest to the smallest of businesses.

We also predict that contactless payments via smartphones in the consumer-to-business realm will experience massive growth in the United States, as it becomes apparent that transferring credit cards from hand to hand should be taboo.

In business, payments are mission-critical. Yet, for B2B payments, trillions of dollars are currently issued on paper checks. Automation of the check process while having a backup plan in place to issue checks may be a good stop-gap solution, but it’s not the long-term answer for forward thinkers. Should this pandemic slow or completely disrupt the USPS, great pain will ensue.

Even worse would be the failure to make payments at all due to the lack of appropriate resources. Automating payments provides the ability to send funds with the press of a button instead of having to print and mail a check.

We anticipate that the COVID-19 crisis may be the catalyst for ending manual check printing and mailing in B2B payments. Migrating to no-touch electronic payments is imperative, and moving to an online, automated system can keep the wheels of a business – and our whole economy – turning.

In addition, we expect to see larger organizations move to a more decentralized approach to accounting operations, including payments. CFOs will not want all of their payment eggs in one basket, knowing how disruptive this could be if a team is stricken with an illness or a shutdown is mandated. The rise in popularity of “shared services centers” by large enterprises may need to be examined and re-engineered as a result.

Decentralization may boost the resilience of larger organizations, providing redundancy and fail-over support to ensure continued access to supplies needed to maintain operations and pay vendors.

As a result of this black swan, for B2B transactions, we expect to see more touchless, automated processes to disburse payments that do not require staff intervention. Companies will want to move their money with the press of a button or via a completely automated approach as opposed to a manual process. Today’s black swan will prove to be the tipping point that motivates CIOs and CFOs to overcome their hesitation to move to digital payments, because the risk is seen as too great or the barrier to entry as too high.

Read more insights and tips in Black Swan from PYMNTS.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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