This year many finance and procurement teams have gone from thinking about how to make improvements to their existing payment processes to identifying and adopting new payment methods all together.
Legacy systems that are paper-based, or rely on traditional rails are as vulnerable as any other physical process during a crisis, and are just not sustainable anymore.
The payments landscape is seeing a growing demand for real-time flows and greater control while enabling decentralisation of systems especially when the credit environment is squeezed. Seeing Western Union expand its real-time payouts offering this week is a great example of that. As real-time payment ecosystems gather momentum worldwide, moving money and information in seconds is quickly becoming an expectation. More and more businesses are demanding payments systems that unlock immediate economic benefits.
With once-centralized procurement teams now increasingly dispersed thanks to the adoption or enforcement of work-from-home policies, the controls and workflows that once consolidated procurement spend management are not fit-for-use anymore. This is an opportunity for organisations to be tactful about the electronic payment methods they deploy. Virtual card transactions are forecast to grow by 10% driven by businesses needing to authorise spend remotely as a result of remote working. Virtual, tokenised payment methods offer the controls and create the data that organizations and their teams need to gain visibility into spend across categories and departments in real time.
Remotely issued virtual cards and other digital payment solutions equipped with controls are quickly gaining traction as businesses work to mitigate the risk of cash flow shortfalls in a strained economy.
With virtual payments, individuals at work can create specific-use virtual cards in seconds, with card details that automatically expire after the pre-approved transaction(s). This means that, even if the credentials of a large online supplier are compromised, organisations are protected as their card or personnel details are no longer in existence or cannot be used for unintended purposes.
Digital means getting rid of inefficiency. Really, when you have a mobile wallet that acts as the proxy for a card, and all a card really represents is a string of 16 digits that link to a specific account, why do you need a plastic card at all?
As we continue to readjust our behaviour in light of a new economic environment it has become clear that payments are going to move to pure digital solutions at an ever-faster rate.
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