CFOs: Lack of In-House Expertise Hinders Attempts to Digitize

B2C Developments Fuel B2B Innovation

Many companies continue to depend on legacy business-to-business (B2B) payments infrastructure that adds untenable costs and frictions to the process. 

Companies have moved to innovate their accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) processes accordingly, but many still face challenges in digitizing operations quickly enough to keep up with their competitors. Topping the list of barriers to payments innovation is a lack of in-house expertise to support it. Sixty percent of CFOs cite that as a concern, according to “Next-Gen Commercial Banking,” a PYMNTS and FISPAN collaboration. 

Get the report: Next-Gen Commercial Banking 

Other top barriers to AP and AR digitization include finding the right technology or tech vendors to work with (cited by 47% of CFOs) and not having a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system (46%). 

Enabling Access to Seamless Bill Pay 

As more businesses go online channels to seek out new vendors, suppliers or industry partners, the need to innovate both B2B and consumer-facing transactions such as bill payment is becoming even more important. With B2B eCommerce sales growing, frictionless, digitally optimized bill pay is a must. 

Financial institutions (FIs) have an opportunity to better engage and retain corporate customers by offering these solutions. In doing so, they can help companies break their lingering reliance on manual payment methods, freeing up both time and resources — and win customer loyalty along the way. 

Helping Companies Overcome Barriers 

Banks can differentiate themselves by offering application programming interface (API)-powered bill solutions that let them provide the tailored, digital-first experiences their clients need swiftly and seamlessly. 

APIs allow FIs to embrace any number of strategies, FISPAN Head of Product Strategy Matt Naish told PYMNTS in a recent interview. They give them the flexibility to watch how new trends develop, extend their capabilities by partnering industry leaders, or create new options in-house to leapfrog the competition. 

Read more: Speed of Payments is Key Consideration as Digital Banking’s Roots Deepen 

Indeed, FIs’ investments in APIs are on the rise. Recent PYMNTS data revealed that 47% of banks and credit unions had invested in the technologies by the end of 2021, up from 35% in 2019, and 25% also noted plans to invest in APIs this year. 

“No matter if the FI is choosing to extend or compete, the foundational building block will be the API,” Naish said.