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Why Do Checks Still Dominate B2B Payments in NA? Cont'd

Why do companies continue to pay by check? In part three of the series, “The Top 5 Reasons Why Checks Still Dominate B2B Payments” I explore the challenges associated with bringing about process change.

Reason #3 - Process Change. The migration from paper to electronic payments will lead to process change and anyone who has tried to introduce business process change has undoubtedly experienced internal resistance.  Sometimes the resistance comes from budgetary, interpersonal or political concerns. Other times, it’s due to a lack of trust in the outcome. Is it feasible? Will the transition be difficult? Will the result be stable? How quickly should we move? Can we take an incremental approach? Do the anticipated benefits outweigh the risks? Have we overlooked anything? Where should the change begin? Who should be involved? How do we see it through to the end? 

Process change discussions can easily create a domino effect throughout the organization and project scope can rapidly expand. A single initiative, such as migrating A/P payments from check to electronic payments can morph into a larger business process reengineering (BPR) project. It's common to feel uneasy about a new business initiative. Employees who already feel overloaded and overwhelmed dread the additional workload that a BPR project can bring.  Some have seen failed automation projects and therefore have a healthy skepticism. And some will question the benefits to be gained from the effort. 

The good news is that companies can easily move to electronic payments without modifying their existing business processes. Outsourcing payment execution tasks (print & mail, generation of electronic files) can free up staff and IT resources to focus on core business activities. In fact, the savings can often be used to fund other automation efforts further upstream in the areas of invoice receipt and A/P approval workflow.  

Have you wrestled with these challenges as you consider moving to electronic payments? Is internal resistance to change a barrier for you?

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Payments strategies 2015-2020-2030

Payments systems visions, strategies, trends, pilots, forecasting, and planning for the short-, medium-, and far-term.


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