Innovation’s Impact on Payments Trends for CFOs in 2022


Whether it’s crypto, buy now, pay later, or digitizing and streamlining back-office operations, innovation is at the center of payments trends, writes Matt Clark, chief operating officer of Corcentric, in the PYMNTS  eBook “Endemic Economics: 32 Payments Execs on the ‘Next Normal’ That Never Happened.” Savvy CFOs are embracing that innovation and reaping the benefits.


The last few years have been a whirlwind for chief financial officers (CFOs). However, one constant — innovation — is at the center of these payments trends for CFOs.


Most early investment dollars in innovation are channeled to B2C first, given the large addressable market and B2C’s lesser complexity. While crypto grows in popularity, it isn’t a main player yet. According to a NewtonX Current and Fortune survey, 92% of CFOs said they were not accepting nor planned on accepting crypto payments in 2021 and 2022.

In the B2B space, payment innovations must gain traction and build critical mass. Consider paper check payments. Prior to the pandemic, more than 80% of companies paid by check—today 53% of CFOs say they send and receive fewer check payments, according to a PYMNTS and Corcentric report. Don’t expect immediate wide acceptance of crypto in the B2B and B2C spaces until it overcomes regulatory uncertainty and valuation volatility obstacles.

Buy Now, Pay Later

Consumer payments and credit granting are undergoing a fundamental transformation. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is proliferating in the B2C world as eCommerce grows and technology innovation continues to threaten consumer credit cards.

Research from eMarketer shows that eCommerce comprised nearly 20% of total retail sales in 2021 — a number projected to increase to over 22% by 2023. According to The Global Payments Report, global eCommerce payments made via BNPL will rise from 2.9% in 2021 to 5.3% in 2025. BNPL will provide buyers and sellers with another option to administer payments and will continue to complement more established payment methods like digital wallets, credit and debit cards and bank transfers

Back-Office Technology

The complexity of B2B payments and varying degrees of sophistication among buyers and sellers created a need for flexibility with payment modalities and timing strategies. Although digitizing backoffice technology for payment processes has been a consideration for many companies, the pandemic accelerated its planning and adoption.

Reasons why CFOs are ditching manual processes include greater operational efficiency, holistic cash flow and working capital, seamless operations integration and enhanced security, according to a PYMNTS and Corcentric report. Innovation and investment in technology allow treasury and accounting functions to maximize cash flow and optimize working capital across the entire payment ecosystem.

Innovations Hitting the Mark

It’s important to reflect on what has previously worked and let the past inform the future. These are three takeaways from recent innovation.

  1. Payments processes remain siloed, but work already accomplished, especially by FinTech players, has created strides in approaching the entire lifecycle holistically.
  2. BNPL has significantly impacted growth in supporting the volume of eCommerce activity.
  3. Technology applying the right payment methodology and timing strategy is creating winwins for buyers and sellers.

While there is still a lengthy journey before declaring victory, CFOs embracing technology to improve payments can impact positive change on business processes.