B2B Payments

How Online Banking Is Changing SMB's Bill Payment Habits

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Small and medium-size enterprises are on their way to adopting some of the newest technology to help run their business, and that includes embracing solutions to enhance their payments and banking capabilities.

The latest PYMNTS.com SMB Technology Adoption Index shows how SMEs are progressing along this line. The research reveals an increase in EMV technology adoption, but that many are struggling with integrating automated invoice solutions and mobile payments acceptance capabilities.

New research from Fiserv and Barlow Research uncovers how businesses' challenges in adopting new payments technologies are also affecting the way they manage cash on the back-end.

According to a survey of SMEs conducted in late 2015, the importance of online and mobile banking for small business owners is on the rise, often because these entrepreneurs are accustomed to these solutions in their personal lives.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, small businesses were attracted to digital banking solutions as a way to cut costs and "do more with less," the report also found. Today, businesses surveyed said they expect to increase their use of some kind of digital payment method over the next year.

The majority, 56 percent, said they expect their use of digital business bill payment to increase thanks to online banking; nearly one-quarter said their digital bill payments via mobile banking will also increase.

Nearly half (47 percent) said their use of ACH for direct deposit will increase via online banking, with 18 percent saying the same for mobile banking.

Finally, one-quarter of small business owners said they expect to see an increase in their use of wire transfers thanks to online banking, with 8 percent anticipating an increase through mobile banking.

Researchers also found shifts in the way these business owners are managing their cash. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) cited predictive cash management as their most important feature in a cash flow management solution, a finding that the report said presents a significant opportunity for financial services players.

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