Four ways to prepare your business for the future of digital payments

Mark A. Smith, Business Cards & Automated Payables Solutions, May 2022

Four ways to prepare your business for the future of digital payments

Digital transformation continues to sweep the country—especially as more companies and their customers embrace digital payment technologies. In a recent American Banker webinar, KeyBank’s Business Cards and Payables Solutions leader Mark A. Smith led a discussion on the future of digital payments.

Here are four areas where KeyBank can help your business embrace the future of digital payments both with consumers and other businesses—and in doing so, take steps to improve your cash flow, profitability and efficiencies in operation:

  1. Embrace automation
    Transitioning from paper-based, manual invoicing and payment processes to automated digital methods is an important component of embracing the future of digital payments. In 2020, COVID-19 forced many businesses to adopt new technology because a remote work environment simply did not support traditional manual processes. But beyond the pandemic, automation tools can help resolve multiple pain points in the processes of making payments to vendors and receiving them from customers. Automation can increase the efficiency and security of financial administration, as well as reduce errors, improve transparency and communication between departments and reduce the need for rework.

    These benefits, especially when applied simultaneously to Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and to customer payments (digital merchant services), can all work together to help businesses save time and money. There are many options in the market to choose from; different platforms will be a good fit for different types of businesses. KeyBank’s banking professionals can help guide you through the process and recommend what businesses similar to yours are choosing.

  2. Leverage APIs
    As payments become increasingly digital in nature, the role of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) is growing rapidly. For many businesses, APIs represent the most effective, efficient way to connect to their bank, make payments, reconcile payables and receivables and more. Key can help your business leverage APIs for the use cases and solutions that suit your needs. While the term may seem technical, an API is simply a digital gateway for your systems to connect seamlessly with the financial systems used by your bank, customers and vendors. No matter how sophisticated your platforms are, the process as a whole could quickly become frustrating if your system can’t connect easily to others.
  3. Reinforce fraud prevention tools and tactics
    We’ve all seen the headlines about ransomware attacks and other forms of fraud and cybercrime; don’t let that stop you from embracing digital transformation. However, every business should be proactive in making sure its systems are properly protected from fraud as much as possible. The more digital your payments systems, the more you need robust fraud protection systems in place to protect your data—and that of your customers and suppliers. In particular, synthetic identity fraud, wherein a perpetrator creates a fake identity to defraud a company or other organization, is a growing concern for U.S. businesses. Additionally, during COVID-19, fraudulent unemployment claims cost the U.S. government billions of dollars in improper benefit payments. As companies transition to digital payment platforms, it’s important to build in fraud protection measures and educate employees on security best practices.
  4. Business efficiencies with fintech solutions
    At Key, we’ve been working with fintech companies for years to help meet customers’ needs in the digital payments space. Sometimes it makes the most sense for us to build a particular solution in-house, and other times the best course of action has been to engage with fintech. Our fintech relationships provide fresh and innovative ideas and allow us to offer unique, holistic solutions and nontraditional treasury services to our clients. Based on our understanding of our clients’ specific payment needs, pain points, processes, and business strategies, we can introduce them to potential fintech solutions and advise on how to implement them within their companies.

Digital payments of the future

The digital payments space is evolving quickly, and each business’s needs and priorities are unique. One thing that’s true across the board: Embracing new opportunities including automation, APIs, fraud prevention, and fintech solutions can help companies prepare for the future of digital payments, and all the benefits digital transformation can bring.

Find out more about how KeyBank can help your business embrace the future of digital payments.

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