US, UK Businesses Adopt Payments Automation to Clear X-Border Hurdles

Automating and streamlining payment flows is on the roadmap for nearly all U.S. and U.K. decision makers.

Both countries’ businesses report that they plan to implement many cross-border payment innovations in the next three years to streamline and automate payments and payments flows, according to “Innovating Cross-Border Payments,” a PYMNTS and Visa collaboration.

Get the report: Innovating Cross-Border Payments

They are undertaking these innovations for several reasons. For example, payors recognize the importance of paying suppliers faster and are investing in real-time payments and digital wallets. And suppliers understand that digital tools are critical for accelerating invoicing and payments.

Innovating to Cut Down on Pain Points

When Visa announced its acquisition of foreign exchange (FX) solution provider Currencycloud last summer, Visa Global Treasurer Colleen Ostrowski noted that customers have rising expectations about transparency, speed and simplicity in cross-border payments.

Read more: Visa Completes Acquisition of Cross Border Payments Platform Currencycloud

Getting paid starts with submitting an invoice, and 41% of all businesses responding to the survey plan to digitize their invoice processes, including adding pay-by-invoice functionalities, over the next three years. In addition, nearly a third plan to automate receivables, and just over a quarter plan to implement real-time payment receipts.

Just over one-third are looking at spend management/expense controls and rules-based decision-making; around one-quarter aim to add straight-through processing, application programming interfaces (APIs) and dynamic discounting, and about one-fifth are considering artificial intelligence (AI) fraud prevention and blockchain technology.

Payors recognize the importance of offering a seamless payment experience to their suppliers and are in. A quarter of the businesses plan to begin allowing suppliers to choose how to receive payments so the businesses can meet a broader swath of suppliers’ preferences.

Further, more than one-third plan to implement push payments and payments to digital wallets, more than one-quarter plan to automate payables and enable sending real-time payments, and slightly fewer of them plan to allow more efficient supplier onboarding and virtual cards.

Turning Innovation Roadmaps Into Reality

Sending and receiving cross-border payments has always been essential in the global, digital-first economy, but the current geopolitical situation has only highlighted long-standing inefficiencies.

Businesses across the U.S. and the U.K. must therefore invest in digital cross-border payments innovations that can help mitigate the frictions that make the process slower and more expensive.

Doing so means not only addressing their own operational limitations but also embracing payments innovations such as real-time payments capabilities, push payments, payments to digital wallets and automated payables and receivables that can also benefit current and potential suppliers.

Partnering with third-party providers can help businesses supercharge innovation. Leveraging their expertise and resources can relieve the financial burden on the way to more efficient processes.

As businesses of different sizes and geographic locations turn their focus to innovations, third-party providers can play a key role in turning their innovation roadmaps into reality.