The rise to automate and digitize business payments and process has accelerated rapidly in 2020 as banks and companies reimagine how they conduct business. To find out what this means for the banking industry and the business customers it serves, The Payments Podcast recently sat down with Tristan Thompson, Senior VP and Payments Group Product Manager at UMB Bank.

Like many financial institutions, UMB has seen a marked shift in how B2B payments are being made. Electronic payments, specifically virtual card and ACH formats, are becoming the norm as companies move aggressively to clear hurdles posed by in-person and/or paper-based processes and payments. Those traditional approaches have been rendered inefficient or unfeasible across remote working scenarios brought on by the pandemic. It’s an important shift as cash flow and supply chain management are a driving priority for most businesses, especially in today’s environment.

In conversation, Thompson touted some of the obvious benefits of automation including:

  • Faster payment processing on both the sending and receivable fronts,
  • Efficiency gains that are inherent to automation:
    • Smarter routing to pay vendors in the payment form they prefer,
    • Freeing up resources to focus on more value-add tasks rather than manual invoice entry and check cutting; and perhaps most importantly,
    • Securing payments better via electronic/digitized transactions.

With multiple forms of fraud on the rise in 2020, securing payments is a top priority. Criminal account takeovers, business email compromise (BEC), and other payment diversion scheme incidences are all spiking as criminals are taking advantage of disruption within business, including AP, functions.

To find out how bank partners can help on the path to secure AP automation, listen to the full Payments Podcast, “AP Automation and Considerations for Corporates”. To get an insider’s view into how one bank is striving to loosen the foothold paper checks still have in business, read how BNY Mellon is helping corporates adopt more secure payment options in the Banking Dive article, “Behind BNY Mellon’s war against B2B checks”.

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Posted by Germaine Lang

Germaine Lang is the Managing Editor of SmartPayments with a strong creative and technical writing background across many industries. She also works to engage customers and relate their experiences with vendor products and services, positioning them as innovative thought leaders.