With mobile banking firmly entrenched in the consumer space, the industry is on the brink of another revolution in the B2B sector, as corporate treasury professionals slowly begin to discard decades-old methods of transferring funds in favour of payments executed on smartphones and tablets, figures from HSBC show.
Since its launch in 2011, UK corporate customers have used HSBCnet mobile to authorise £10 billion in payments. Demand is picking up fast, says the bank, which recorded 7,700 mobile payments totaling £788 million in Q1 2015 alone.
Tech-savvy UK treasury staff are leading the charge, with 22% of HSBCnet online banking customers in the country turning to mobile compared with just 12% globally.
Frances Howell, head of payments and cash management (PCM), CMB UK says: “The UK has quickly recognised the advantages and potential benefits offered by mobile business solutions. Mobile payments mean there is instant reconciliation. Being paid faster improves a company’s liquidity and cash-flow performance by extending their ability to pay their own creditors faster."
Despite the advantages and positive spin, the figures from HSBC also demonstrate a large untapped market as the vast majority of corporates continue to cling to old-fashioned methods to pay and receive funds, such as paper invoices, banker's drafts and cheques.
Nadya Hijazi, HSBC’s global head of PCM e-commerce says that for corporates, mobile banking is about more than just convenience.
"Digitising payments also enhances visibility over the workings of a business," he says. "More comprehensive, accurate payments information can be captured and retained. Finance directors can, at a glance, better gauge the financial position of their subsidiaries, trading partners and contractors, enabling them to make more informed buying or credit decisions.”