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Bottomline Technologies & Strategic Treasurer Release 2018 B2B Payments and Working Capital Management Survey

PORTSMOUTH, NH – Bottomline Technologies (NASDAQ:EPAY) today announced the release of the 2018 B2B Payments and Working Capital Management Strategies Survey. This is the second annual survey conducted by Strategic Treasurer and sponsored by Bottomline Technologies.

The report includes responses from 275 treasury professionals spanning 15 industries across the corporate and banking landscape. The report measures how serious corporates are in managing their working capital comprehensively and examines areas of focus within the cash conversion cycle.

“Organizations cannot ignore working capital management,” said Craig Jeffery, Managing Partner, Strategic Treasurer. “Business payments represent a highly impactful element of operations, and given the rate of change in the payments landscape, it is more important than ever for businesses to be aware of these changes and take advantage of associated working capital opportunities.”

Overall, corporates continue to indicate a focus on efficiency and security within their payables and receivables processes. Thirty-five percent of corporates indicated that accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) were equally important focus areas for driving efficiency. Nearly half of corporates (49%) named efficiency and productivity as the top driver for AP automation, ranking it higher than other drivers such as cost savings and security. When asked about specific focus areas for automation, invoice delivery/capture and conversion of paper payments to electronic methods (ACH/card) were the two areas labeled as most important (58% and 52% respectively).

With regard to making payments on corporate cards, 40% of organizations plan to spend more or significantly more on their card programs this year compared to last year. There is growing emphasis by corporates on monetizing the payables and receivables processes through automation to reduce processing costs and streamline workflows. According to the survey, checks are out of favor and typically the least preferred method. Still, only one third of organizations make more than 70% of their B2B payments electronically, indicating tremendous opportunity in this area.

“The entire payments arena is undergoing rapid change from a number of fronts, all influenced by technological advances and more robust services and information,” said Bill Wardwell II, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Bottomline Technologies. “With an increasing focus on mobile, the use of APIs and the range of faster payment options available - change is underway.”

According to the report, 64% of corporates are currently using same-day payments and/or other immediate payment methods. Additionally, 29% of corporates indicate their comfort with mobile apps for B2B payments has improved over the past year. When it comes to investing in payments technology, security is very much top of mind as 65% of corporates say that security concerns have a strong or very strong influence on their planned payments technology spend.

“The increasing sophistication of fraud schemes has created a heightened focus on payment security for businesses,” said Wardwell. “It is critical that banks and fintech providers keep security at the forefront of their innovations.”

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