Same Day ACH is ready for its debut at the end of the week, and for some, its launch signals the next step for the payments industry to become faster and more digital. In B2B payments, those characteristics could have a significant impact on supplier payments and other B2B payment habits.
But a new report finds that, even as Same Day ACH is fast-approaching, businesses are actually increasing their use of paper checks.
For the 2016 AFP Electronic Payments Survey, released on Tuesday (Sept. 20), researchers found a 1 percent increase in the use of paper checks for B2B payments compared to 2013 levels. According to reports, while the increase may not be much, it is a reversal of the direction previous analysis found of declining check use.
On the other hand, the report found that, on average, a business receives 44 percent of its payments by check, down from 50 percent in 2013.
Regardless, companies are still eying the potential Same Day ACH has to impact their operations.
According to the report, the majority of treasurers and financial professionals (57 percent) said they plan to use Same Day ACH for last-minute bill payments, while 38 percent said they would use the tool for emergency payroll. The vast majority of companies (94 percent) said it is important that faster payments are also “smart,” with the ability to carry remittance data.
It remains to be seen whether Same Day ACH will redirect the trend of paper check use back into decline. But 70 percent of executives surveyed said it is either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that their companies will shift their payments to mostly electronic rails in the next three years.
Slightly more than half of respondents cite the cost savings of electronic payments as a benefit.
“Treasury and finance professionals are indicating their support for Same Day ACH because they see the value that it brings to last-minute payments,” said AFP President and Chief Executive Jim Kaitz in a statement. “This could serve as a wakeup call for electronic payments vendors: How can you better serve and assist organizations to shift from checks to electronic payments?”
The survey was sponsored by JPMorgan.