As one of the world’s largest financial institutions, HSBC has recently made efforts to strengthen its position within the corporate banking world. Late last year, the bank’s head of payments and cash management Diane Reyes laid out HSBC’s B2B expansion plan, which focused largely on innovation and digital banking tactics.
Now, HSBC appears to be moving forward with those efforts, backed by new research. Figures from the bank’s latest study suggest that B2B players are next to adopt mobile payment strategies as corporate treasurers ditch outdated methods for smartphones and tablets.
The insight stems from HSBC’s study of adoption of its HSBCnet mobile payment authorization service. Since its 2011 introduction, HSBCnet has reportedly been used by U.K. corporate clients to authorize more than $15 billion in payments, with about $1.2 billion worth of transactions done through the platform in 2015’s first quarter.
According to HSBC, the U.K. is a hotbed for B2B mobile payments. U.K. Treasury staff accounts for 22 percent of HSBCnet’s users, reports said, compared with just 12 percent among the rest of the world.
“The U.K. has quickly recognized the advantages and potential benefits offered by mobile business solutions,” said CMB head of payments and cash management Frances Howell in a recent interview with Finextra. “Mobile payments mean there is instant reconciliation. Being paid faster improves a company’s liquidity and cash-flow performance by extending their ability to pay their own creditors faster.”
HSBC’s global head of PCM eCommerce, Nadya Hijazi, reiterated that while enterprises are slow to adopt mobile payment practices, the benefits are immediately recognizable. “Digitizing payments also enhances visibility over the workings of a business,” he said. “More comprehensive, accurate payments information can be captured and retained. Finance directors can, at a glance, better gauge the financial position of their subsidiaries, trading partners and contractors, enabling them to make more informed buying or credit decisions.”
Among other outdated methods used by businesses, HSBC pointed out, are paper invoices and checks. Separate research has highlighted the rise of e-invoicing and digital payments among businesses, and HSBC’s findings hint that B2B may slowly be warming up to mobile payments, too.