How Business Payment Systems Have Evolved

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By Robert Bast

Topics: payment processing

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Technology has been evolving by leaps and bounds in the last few decades, and even more exciting changes appear to be on the way. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and other technologies continue to promise more to businesses and consumers alike.

One of the most exciting fields for innovation has been the FinTech sector. Financial technology has made headway in the last three or four years, ranging from consumer banking apps to investment vehicles and beyond. Even business payment systems have been evolving, although at a slower rate.

How exactly have payment systems for businesses changed? This guide will survey the past and make some predictions for the future.


The Old Business Payment Systems

Before the FinTech revolution began, most business owners were stuck paying their bills, invoices, and vendors using one or two rudimentary and time-intensive systems. The most common was the cheque-writing process. You’d find your chequebook, write the cheque, print the invoice, and hopefully remember to mail the cheque before the post office closed for the day.

If you were trying to pay someone in another country, you’d need to wire them funds. This involved driving to the bank, verifying your ID, and finally filling in the details to get the money where it needed to go.

Then you’d have to wait for processing. Depending on the method you were using, this could take days or even weeks. By the time the payment was finally received, it would be time to do it all over again.


Offering Hope for Better Systems

If the methods described above seem cumbersome, it’s because they are. Today’s business owners often look to the technology they hold in their hands and wonder if there isn’t a better way.

FinTech offers some hope for better business payment systems in the future. After all, if consumers can send and receive payment via an app on their smartphones, why can’t businesses make use of the same technologies?

Fortunately, they can, and often at a lower cost to the business. So why aren’t more B2B companies using these new and improved payment systems?


Barriers to Adoption

One of the biggest issues in the adoption of new business payment systems has been a lack of information. Small businesses account for a large proportion of Canadian firms, and many owners believe new FinTech solutions are too costly for their operations.

This isn’t true. In fact, it’s probably costing you more to continue using cheques and expensive wire transfers to pay your vendors. Small businesses would benefit immensely from adopting better payment systems.

Perhaps an even larger barrier, however, has been banks themselves. Wire transfers, credit cards, e-mail money transfers and paper cheque processes are almost exclusively controlled by banks in Canada. These institutions are reluctant to give up their monopoly.


Revolutionizing Business One Payment at a Time

Contributing to the lack of information among business owners is the crowded app market. As the FinTech sector has grown, many apps have been introduced, but even the best ones can be hidden by the multitude of choices.

Many accounting professionals and business owners have been discouraged by the seeming challenge of finding a reliable, flexible platform to manage all of their payments.

There are payment platforms out there, and many of them are quite good. These systems provide businesses with the ability to manage all of their payment processes from one central portal. No more running to the bank to make an international wire transfer! No more printing, signing and mailing cheques! No more costly foreign exchange transactions! The true gems in the B2B payment ecosystem make it simple to manage all of your existing payment processes from one easy-to-use, cloud-basedplatform.

Disclaimer

The information in this article is for educational and information purposes only and should not be relied upon for decision making. Always seek the expertise of a professional advisor or accountant prior to making any decisions.

Robert Bast

Robert is a proven strategic business leader with 18 years of experience in the financial and technology services industry. During his career, Robert has worked at several major banks and credit card networks and has helped to launch business strategies and products both in Canada and around the world. He has consulted with hundreds of small businesses, large market organizations, and enterprise companies on topics ranging from simple payment optimization strategies to account reconciliation and payment process re-engineering plans. As Chief Revenue Officer and Co-Founder of WayPay, he is responsible for the development of key partner strategies, go-to-market and growth plans, and a positive customer sales and acquisition experience.