Categories: Payments


George Anderson


Obstacles to ePayments

In a recent webinar from ARO2CNetwork, payments expert Mark Brousseau shared results of a study on the state of ePayments in B2B. The numbers were a little surprising. The study found that same-day electronic payments can cut payment processing costs by up to 50%, yet checks still account for 59% of all payments in B2B.

Why are B2B firms so reluctant to switch to ePayments?

More importantly, how can executive teams overcome ePayment obstacles? How can executives drive new efficiency in the order-to-cash process?

Let’s start answering those questions.

Understanding ePayment obstacles (yes, they’re real)

When you’re feeling the resistance on switching to ePayments, it’s easy to think that the primary obstacle is standing up the technology. Yes, it’s a complex undertaking, but it’s really not the primary obstacle—especially since vendors like Delego Payments, coupled with Corevist ePay, allow you to process all kinds of payment methods right within your ecommerce store (and even post them to SAP in real time).

No, technology isn’t the primary obstacle. The market has built the technology. Tradition, fear of low adoption, and fear of new processes are the three primary obstacles that keep organizations from adopting ePayments.

Obstacle 1: Tradition

“We’ve always done it that way, so why change?”

It’s true—tradition is one of the biggest obstacles to change, in any situation. ePayments is no different. If your company has been processing paper checks for decades, with established business processes and a staff that knows those processes by heart, it’s difficult to push for change.

Yet tradition can also hold a company back. In the area of digital transformation, as your competitors launch digital solutions that cut costs and make them easier to do business with, tradition can become a liability.

How to overcome it:

This really comes down to company culture, which starts at the top. Engage key stakeholders within your organization in conversations about payments. Document their concerns and see what patterns emerge. If you can map concerns to real issues which ePayments may create, address those issues in your project plan.

Obstacle 2: Fear of Low Adoption

“Customers won’t use it.”

It’s intimidating to train all your customers on a new payment workflow. You might think, “They’ll get frustrated, they don’t have time for this, they won’t like it.” But unless you’re basing these concerns on real data, the fact is, they may not be true.

How to overcome it:

In the research phase, before you even evaluate payment solutions, talk to your customers. Whether through surveys, focus groups, or conversations with their sales/CSR reps, get their input on ePayments. You should ask specific questions like:

  • Would you pay for your orders with a company credit card if we made that functionality available?
  • What’s the #1 thing slowing down your purchasing interaction with our company?
  • Based on our payment process alone, how likely would you be to recommend us to a colleague?

Obstacle 3: Fear of New Processes

“We don’t want to learn new processes.”

Even if it’s expressed as support for tradition or fear of low adoption, resistance most likely comes down to this: fear of new processes. Let’s face it, a customer or A/R professional who’s used the same process for ten years might feel a little uneasy about throwing it out. And while you can show why ePayments are better on paper (50% lower cost of processing), those kinds of numbers don’t ease people’s fears.

How to overcome it:

Engage your team in honest conversation about ePayments. Allow them to be honest and voice concerns. Then adapt your project plan, and your internal communication about it, to address those concerns.

Moving forward: FREE case study

Wondering how web-based order-to-cash looks in real life? Download this FREE case study on PARI Respiratory. You’ll learn how the company launched customer-first B2B ecommerce that also satisfied the needs of internal stakeholders.

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