59% of CFOs Say Digital Payments Key to Better Balance Sheets

U.S. businesses are using digital channels to make and receive more payments than ever, using supplier portals, app-based payments and other online methods to send and receive funds.

As a result, these firms are using some payment methods more frequently than they did prior to March 2020, according to Business Payments Digitization, a PYMNTS and Corcentric collaboration that polled 400 chief financial officers (CFOs) across five industries.

The method that has made the biggest gain is the credit card, which 85% of the CFOs said their organizations are using more frequently. Other methods seeing widespread adoption are directly from bank accounts, cited by 71% of the CEOs; PayPal, 62%; and debit cards, 55%.

CFOs are investing in payments digitization because they believe it is integral to building and keeping healthy balance sheets. In fact, 59% of CFOs say payments digitization is “very” or “extremely” important for that reason.

The larger the firm, the more likely the CFO is to place a high importance on payments digitization. PYMNTS found the percentage of CFOs who consider it to be “very” or “extremely” important ranges from 50% at the smallest firms included in the survey to 74% at the largest firms.

The most frequently cited reason for accelerating payments digitization is a desire to improve the balance sheet. Among all the CFOs surveyed, 38% said they accelerated payments digitization because of this, while 34% accelerated it for other reasons. The remainder said they did not accelerate it.

CFOs from three of the four sizes of firms surveyed by PYMNTS agreed that a desire to improve the balance sheet was the reason for accelerating payments digitization. Only CFOs from firms of the second-largest size—those with annual revenue between $1 billion and $1.5 billion — were more likely to say they accelerated for other reasons.