Contributor: Matthew Dragiff
SunGard recently conducted a study to better understand how corporations were addressing the various challenges around ePayment adoption and the migration to ACH and virtual cards. The study included 171 participants spanning a broad range of industry and revenue classifications, with 48% of the respondents from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue. Not surprising, ePayment adoption continues to elude even the most sophisticated organizations. The study found that internal barriers coupled with lack of knowledge of the available options are the primary obstacles. This finding suggests that there is an opportunity for many companies to move to electronic payments via an outsourced provider.
By outsourcing to a single solution provider with multiple payment channels, companies can more easily take advantage of the full spectrum of payment opportunities. Perhaps only a portion of the vendor community will initially accept ACH and virtual cards. But by outsourcing to a solution provider and utilizing a single platform, companies can actively campaign and over time migrate more of their vendors to electronic payments.
The question on the minds of many treasury and accounts payable professionals is what to look for in an outsourced payments solution or solution provider? When asked to identify the top requirements for a payments solution or provider, study participants pointed:
- first, to a requirement for an integrated platform and;
- second to an embedded vendor enrollment program
This staged priority model allows companies to take a crawl, walk, run approach with their vendors. Rather than looking for a specific payment type such as virtual card, companies first want a platform that can handle the full spectrum of payment methods, including check, ACH, wire and virtual card over both domestic and international payment networks. They are coupling this approach with the introduction of a formal vendor enrollment program: a highly targeted campaign to help educate and convert vendors from check to electronic payment. A solution provider that offers both of these options presents the most effective short and longer term solution to corporations.
Are there specific requirements that are more important to you when looking for an outsourced payments solution or solution provider? I’d like to hear from you.