Digital payments provide many benefits in the business payments space, and we’re seeing more corporates take bigger steps to shift to digital payment options including virtual cards. According to a survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), 73% of organizations are transitioning B2B payments away from check.
While there is a greater focus on conversion, it is estimated that 40% of all B2B payments in the U.S. are still made via check. For those who continue to pay suppliers by check, the process of converting to a digital payment method can require more time and resources than they have available, leading to a slow rate of digital conversion. Automating the digital conversion process could save corporates time and resources, freeing them up to focus on other strategic initiatives while accelerating their progress in achieving their digital goals.
The role of the vendor history file
The vendor history file allows corporates to view summarized payment activity, including payment method and terms, across their supplier base. It provides value in evaluating and prioritizing supplier discussions to move paper-based payment suppliers to digital.
The vendor history file is a useful tool that aids in the digital conversion campaign process. However, accessing and evaluating the data in a timely fashion can require more resources than many corporates have to spare. This impacts the campaign readiness and speed of conversion to digital.
As more corporates focus on optimizing their B2B payments strategy, including automating accounts payable processes, they are looking for ways to expedite the conversion of their remaining check-paid suppliers to a digital payment method.
Easing check to digital payment conversion with accounts payable automation
An integrated payables solution that accelerates the supplier enablement process for digital and virtual card payments streamlines accounts payable efforts and prevents errors, delays and additional costs associated with check payments. Automating the supplier enablement process and removing sole dependency on annual campaigns for paper-to-digital payments offers many benefits.
First, an automated solution provides ongoing, automated analysis and outreach to suppliers as they are queued up for a check payment. It eliminates the wait period and requirement of analyzing vendor master files during which time the check payments continue to print. Now, new suppliers won't have to wait for the next campaign to be moved to digital.
Secondly, an automated solution proactively connects with check-paid suppliers and relieves manual processes for the corporate payer, saving time and effort.
Lastly, an automated campaign can connect with suppliers at the right time with the added value for the supplier of receiving faster funds for a payment they are expecting.
Embracing the digital payments journey
For organizations seeking a more streamlined approach to digital payment conversion, one option to consider is FIS Integrated Payables. A web-based B2B/B2C payments platform, FIS Integrated Payables can enable AP payments as virtual card, ACH, check and wire. The solution provides our new auto campaign feature set to automate and accelerate the conversion of suppliers from check to virtual cards, enabling the benefits of digital payments for both the corporate payer and the payee. Learn more here.