When office spaces closed and staff began working from home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees still needed to send and receive payments on behalf of their companies. As a result, companies had to support daily expenditures for their remote workforces as well as reduce the costs of accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) processes.
Those needs will continue. Forty percent of businesses plan to let their employees work remotely in the future, PYMNTS reports.
Read more: Enabling B2B Payments For The Virtual Workforce
To support the payment operations required by a virtual workforce, businesses have been making changes to their digital infrastructures. Seventy-six percent of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) report that the pandemic has prompted them to enhance their digital capabilities.
Firms with remote employees have had to improvise to keep their payment operations running smoothly. This has often entailed replacing paper-based payments with cloud-enabled AP and AR solutions that employees can access from their desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices to process expenses online. In fact, 82 percent of SMBs say they are changing how they send or receive payments to or from other businesses.
Historically, B2B businesses have been slower to adopt digital innovations than the consumer sector. While consumers have been using digital payments technologies such as digital wallets, cards on file and mobile banking apps to make purchases for years, the average business organization was still using checks to settle 42 percent of their supplier payments in 2019.
As businesses look to innovate, one digital payment method that has been adopted is virtual cards, which offer a mobile, contactless option that is ideal for use in the “new normal” created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual cards also offer three other key benefits in the B2B space. One benefit is that they support remote workforces. Virtual cards can improve employees’ user experiences for everyday professional purchases. Cards can be sent directly to employees’ smartphones via banks’ or companies’ AP portals.
Another benefit is reduced payment costs. Virtual cards cost nothing to issue. What’s more, many issuers incentivize companies by offering monthly rebates. Virtual cards can also be integrated into companies’ broader enterprise resource planning (ERP) infrastructures and issued to employees and vendors without manual intervention. They can also be automated to reduce long-term operational costs, making them an attractive option for corporate accounting departments.
A third benefit is that they enhance firms’ ability to monitor and forecast their cash flows. Virtual card issuance and payment functions give businesses greater insights into their AP and AR operations. Virtual cards that are connected to businesses’ ERP systems can transmit information about where payments are in the transaction process. This allows for end-to-end visibility into payment flows and helps cash flow managers make more informed financial decisions about cash flows and credit.
Like other digital innovations, virtual cards have not only helped companies solve challenges created by the pandemic, but also enable improved processes that will deliver benefits well into the future.
When workplace areas closed and employees started working from house in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers nonetheless wanted to ship and obtain funds on behalf of their corporations. In consequence, corporations needed to assist every day expenditures for his or her distant workforces in addition to scale back the prices of accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) processes.
These wants will proceed. Forty p.c of companies plan to let their workers work remotely sooner or later, PYMNTS stories.
Learn extra: Enabling B2B Funds For The Digital Workforce
To assist the fee operations required by a digital workforce, companies have been making adjustments to their digital infrastructures. Seventy-six p.c of small and medium-sized companies (SMBs) report that the pandemic has prompted them to reinforce their digital capabilities.
Corporations with distant workers have needed to improvise to maintain their fee operations operating easily. This has typically entailed changing paper-based funds with cloud-enabled AP and AR options that workers can entry from their desktop computer systems, laptops, tablets and cell units to course of bills on-line. In actual fact, 82 p.c of SMBs say they’re altering how they ship or obtain funds to or from different companies.
Traditionally, B2B companies have been slower to undertake digital improvements than the patron sector. Whereas shoppers have been utilizing digital funds applied sciences similar to digital wallets, playing cards on file and cell banking apps to make purchases for years, the common enterprise group was nonetheless utilizing checks to settle 42 p.c of their provider funds in 2019.
As companies look to innovate, one digital fee methodology that has been adopted is digital playing cards, which supply a cell, contactless choice that’s ultimate to be used within the “new regular” created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital playing cards additionally supply three different key advantages within the B2B area. One profit is that they assist distant workforces. Digital playing cards can enhance workers’ person experiences for on a regular basis skilled purchases. Playing cards might be despatched on to workers’ smartphones through banks’ or corporations’ AP portals.
One other profit is lowered fee prices. Digital playing cards value nothing to concern. What’s extra, many issuers incentivize corporations by providing month-to-month rebates. Digital playing cards can be built-in into corporations’ broader enterprise useful resource planning (ERP) infrastructures and issued to workers and distributors with out guide intervention. They can be automated to scale back long-term operational prices, making them a lovely choice for company accounting departments.
A 3rd profit is that they improve companies’ capability to watch and forecast their money flows. Digital card issuance and fee capabilities give companies higher insights into their AP and AR operations. Digital playing cards which might be related to companies’ ERP methods can transmit details about the place funds are within the transaction course of. This permits for end-to-end visibility into fee flows and helps money move managers make extra knowledgeable monetary selections about money flows and credit score.
Like different digital improvements, digital playing cards haven’t solely helped corporations resolve challenges created by the pandemic, but additionally allow improved processes that may ship advantages nicely into the longer term.