The Three Barriers to Middle Market Business Payments Innovation


Adopting the latest technologies can help firms keep their businesses operating smoothly, improve customer satisfaction and benefit supplier relationships. Still, several key challenges prevent firms from seeing the full benefits digital innovation has to offer.

Topping the list of factors holding innovation back are high data management costs, regulatory problems and lack of understanding of the benefits.

Both midmarket and large firms ranked these as the top three barriers, although in a different order, according to “Accelerating the Time to Realized Revenue,” a PYMNTS and Mastercard collaboration based on a survey of 400 corporate executives.

Get the report: Accelerating the Time to Realized Revenue

Midmarket firms ranked high data management costs highest, with 53% citing that as a barrier to innovation, followed by regulatory problems at 48% and a lack of understanding of the benefits at 32%.

Among large firms, the largest share — 48% — said a lack of understanding of the benefits is the greatest challenge, followed by high data management costs at 47% and regulatory problems at 45%.

Overcoming the Challenges That Prevent Digital Innovation

Third-party providers can help firms overcome many of the key challenges that prevent digital innovation.

Such innovation is important at a time when eCommerce sales are up 85% from three years ago.

Read more: Mastercard Feb Retail Sales Data Reflect Underlying Consumer Desire For Normalcy

Third-party providers can help their clients get the most out of new digital payments technology because they have trained professionals who know about the products and services — and how to design and quickly roll out solutions tailored to clients’ needs.

By partnering with such providers, firms can quickly bring to market digital innovation solutions that would otherwise take them much longer to architect and deploy on their own.

Optimizing Businesses’ Payment Operations

Many firms already rely on third-party providers to deliver several of the key technologies they need to optimize their businesses’ payment operations. PYMNTS research found that the most common technology businesses use is supplier portals, and about a third of them source the technology from third-party providers.

Dynamic terms and artificial intelligence (AI) systems are also common technologies that firms obtain via third parties. PYMNTS research found that just over half of the firms that use these technologies source them from third-party providers.

Third-party providers are poised to play an even more central role in expanding firms’ AI and blockchain capabilities. Among the firms that plan to adopt these technologies in the next five years, 80% plan to use third-party providers for blockchain, and 70% plan to use third-party providers for AI systems.

Keeping digital operations up to date is a critical aspect of staying competitive. Firms whose innovation plans are held back by high data management costs, regulatory barriers and a lack of in-house knowledge face an uphill battle to maximize operational efficiencies and deliver high levels of client and partner satisfaction.

Many firms may struggle to overcome these barriers on their own, but working with third-party providers can help mitigate the inherent challenges of quickly implementing and maintaining the digital technologies they need to win and serve an increasingly demanding customer base.