Data-Driven Decisions: Why Digitizing Back-Office Payment Tech Needs to Be on the Agenda


Businesses of all stripes face mounting pressure to deliver post-pandemic success, and treasury and accounting teams are feeling it. Digitizing finance systems and processes can dramatically enhance operational efficiency and data capabilities, writes Peter Maoloni, vice president of product and services at Interac, in the PYMNTS eBook “Endemic Economics: 32 Payments Execs on the ‘Next Normal’ That Never Happened.”


Organizations in every sector are under enormous pressure to deliver post-pandemic success — and treasury and accounting teams are feeling it.

Addressing this pressure effectively takes finance transformation. Specifically, digitizing finance systems and processes can dramatically enhance operational efficiency and data capabilities. That, in turn, means widescale organizational benefits.

Digital payments are at the heart of this innovation. Most of us are now used to making transactions seamlessly in our everyday lives, but that experience hasn’t always translated to the enterprise world, where organizations unfortunately still rely heavily on cumbersome and expensive paper-based processes.

With the widespread shift to hybrid work, the need to digitize payment transactions for business has become even more urgent. In fact, 8 in 10 (80%) finance professionals agree that moving from traditional payment options to digital ones will be essential to post-pandemic growth according to recent Interac research. As more employees work across multiple locations, manual, and in-person processes (such as payment by check) have become not only antiquated but increasingly unfeasible.

Adopting digital payment solutions can be done with relative ease. There are off-the-shelf commercial payment offerings like Interac e-Transfer for Business that enable data-rich payments in real time to help streamline accounting processes and accelerate paperless office strategies, while offering bulk payment options, which facilitate a number of payments at once. These are powerful tools to simplify processes and boost operational efficiency. Digitizing payment systems ultimately allows organizations to view and analyze cash flow more easily, empowering businesses to manage customer data more strategically, for example by identifying the most profitable clients and focus efforts on them to accelerate growth.

Going digital with payments also enhances transparency. With traditional forms of payment, accounting teams have no line of sight between when a payment is sent and when it is received. Digital payments, on the other hand, create transactions that are secure, traceable, and recorded, so you can easily go back and identify who the money went to, and see any memos associated with the transaction. Additionally, having all reconciliation data in one place makes it easier to complete transactional work such as filing for taxes and applying for loans.

Evolving from manual, paper-based processes to digital will also be transformative for the people in your finance function. Faster processing and servicing means fewer person-hours dedicated to invoicing and payments. As these manual tasks become automated, finance teams are free to spend more time on higher value-add functions. Over half of finance professionals (54%) say shifting this function from being driven by transactional processes to playing a role that is more strategic will be important to the future success of their organization. From overseeing the execution of companywide strategies to optimizing the management of cash flow, treasury and accounting teams can unlock significant value when they streamline their processes.

As leaders continue to work toward finance transformation, there is major opportunity for payments innovation to lead the way. By giving teams quicker and safer access to money with more information, organizations can reap incredible rewards — ones that will last long after the pandemic has subsided.