B2B Payments

Commercial Cards, Mobile A Heavenly Match: UMB

Financial service providers looking to enhance B2B payments offerings must turn their attention to the user experience. Digital payments, faster transaction times, streamlined reconciliation, and greater visibility and control are all key components to an improved corporate payments offering, noted Uma Wilson, director of bank products at UMB Financial Corporation.

User experience, she recently told PYMNTS, is the “holy grail” for banks as the industry embraces more digitization and the “consumerization” of accounts payable.

That focus led UMB to recently announce a partnership with Fraedom, a deal that sees UMB’s corporate customers being migrated to the Fraedom expense management platform linked to commercial cards. Moving forward, UMB said, the partnership will expand to develop a mobile app, a feature that Wilson said is becoming an increasingly important component for business payers.

“In corporate America, people are not just eight-to-five,” she said. “We’re seeing trends that they’re taking care of business needs perhaps after the eight-to-five model. Mobile is very critical.”

One top focus for UMB with its mobile strategy will be the business travel and expense management market, a prime area for mobile platforms that enable professionals to capture spend data, reconcile and build expense reports while they are on the business trip – not days or weeks after their return.

That being said, Wilson acknowledged that mobile payment adoption among corporates has been slow.

“Business mobile adoption is very minimal at this point,” she said, adding that it is slowly trickling into the business space.

Recent research from Capital One found that less than half of professionals surveyed have access to a mobile app linked to their corporate cards that provides transaction visibility and analysis – nor do they have a mobile app through which they can submit travel expenses. For those professionals that do have access to these features, less than half said they have a single mobile app that can handle both functionalities.

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