Australasian firms missing out on benefits of digital payment

19 September 2015

Many Australian and New Zealand businesses are not gaining the full benefits of digital payment systems despite acknowledgement of the benefits, according to a survey.

Deloitte asked 150 medium and large organisations (67 per cent in Australia and 33 per cent in New Zealand) about their business to business payments.

It found despite the benefits of using card and digital account-based payment mechanisms reported by those that had adopted them, 47 per cent of companies surveyed did not have a card programme in place, while all those surveyed still accepted cheques as a payment method.

According to the study, B2B Payments: 2015 Australia and New Zealand Research, card and digital account-based payment mechanisms are typically considered better, faster and cheaper by organisations that use them.

It found 87 per cent of respondents said card and digital accounts provided suitable spend controls, while 63 per cent said it provided improved visibility and reporting. Some 82 per cent of survey respondents reported card based systems were faster, with 49 per cent saying cards reduced the cost of doing business.

A further 61 per cent of suppliers responding reported spending less effort in chasing digital payments, while 60 per cent claimed better customer relationships.

Richard Miller, payments director with Deloitte, said: “Businesses and government organisations are increasingly looking to such digital solutions to improve productivity and reduce the time between invoicing and receiving payment.

“These virtual accounts and payment platforms mean that a traditional card account can be used for a greater range of B2B payments. As a result of digitisation opening up more opportunities, spending on card-based B2B payments has grown significantly since 2011, up 42 per cent in Australia and 66 per cent in New Zealand.

“However, there is still considerable opportunity to improve take-up, with almost half of survey respondents not using the available solutions and 100 per cent still having paper processes to support cheque payments.”

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