by Byron Connolly

Firms failing to cut out paper payments

Aug 27, 2015
Risk Management

Many Australian organisations have failed to make the switch to card and digital payments despite them being touted as cheaper than traditional paper-based ordering processes.

Almost half of the 150 medium and large organisations responding to Deloitte research on B2B payment trends said they were not using available solutions. All respondents were still using paper processes to support cheque payments.

Card-based processes for invoicing cost $20 on average compared to $73 using a traditional purchase.

Richard Miller, payments director at Deloitte, said card and digital account payments are 70 per cent more cost-effective than traditional purchase order processes.

This is particularly true when downstream benefits such as better data for analytics and reporting, improved cash flow, and reduced manual work through process automation are considered, he said.

“Businesses and government organisations are increasingly looking to such digital solutions to improve productivity and reduce the time between invoicing and receiving payment,” Miller said.

“Eighty two per cent of survey respondents reported that cards were faster and a very efficient way to streamline the overall procure-to-pay workflows, increasing the average speed of cards over traditional processes by 1.4 times.”

Meanwhile, users are shifting away from thinking of cards just as a tool for managing employee expenses, to realising the potential of digital payment and reporting solutions.

61 per cent of suppliers reported less effort in chasing payments, 60 per cent claim better customer relationships, and 51 per cent post improved reconciliation.

“These virtual accounts and payment platforms mean that a traditional card account can be used for a greater range of B2B payments,” said Miller.

“As a result of digitisation opening up more opportunities, spending on card-based B2B payments has grown significantly since 2011 – up 42 per cent in Australia and 66 per cent in New Zealand.”

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