So-called “black swan” events throughout history have shown the tendency to be the instigators of large-scale change for the better in many industries. The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential (and likely will) be the instigator that brings about a brighter future for (business-to-business) B2B payments as millions of businesses are now learning that antiquated payment systems and processes can easily fail in times of extreme difficulty. That being said, here are 3 big changes we can expect in the immediate future of the B2B payments industry:
- Decentralization – with many businesses finding it difficult to find solutions for check printing and invoice handling, many will now develop continuity plans that include backup solutions. In many cases, these backup plans may even demonstrate their superiority and become the main plans.
- Automation – many businesses still deal with a lot of paper and a lot of manual processing to handle their B2B payments. The realities of the current pandemic could drive many to seek automated solutions that do not require physical trips to an office. Moreover, such solutions could also help them cut costs over 80% on average.
- No-touch payments – despite being more costly, more time-intensive and opening up a greater potential for fraud, many businesses still rely on paper checks for B2B business transactions. But COVID-19 could be the death nail for the paper check. Before the pandemic, it was thought checks would be extinct by 2030. We can now expect that to happen a lot sooner.
While there will no doubt be some surprising developments as a result of COVID-19, let’s keep positive and looking forward. We’re in for a bright future…one that may be realized much sooner thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.