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Think faster, act smarter

3-minute read

Manual payments aren’t good for business. Or people. The rise of remote and hybrid working has cemented that fact and prompted organisations to take a more agile approach to their payment strategy.

Linda Weston, Head of Core Product, Barclaycard Payments

Linda Weston, Head of Core Product, Barclaycard Payments

Not everyone likes change, but digitisation is something we can’t ignore. Any business reluctant to move away from their time-honoured payable and receivable practices risks being left behind. Specifically, they’ll miss out on faster payments, smarter decision-making, and stronger client and supplier relationships.

With automated payments increasingly critical to business success, limited budgets and legacy systems don’t have to stand in the way of change. After all, anything that has the potential to transform a business’ financial performance has to be worth the effort. Daunting? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not.

Making Case for automation

Now might not feel like the best time to embrace automation, but with the right tools, organisations have a great opportunity to become more resilient.

And resilience is key right now. According to ONS data,1 inflation and energy prices remain the top two concerns for businesses, while 18% are experiencing global supply chain disruption. With this in mind, any investment is going to need a heavy-duty business case and a clear, measurable ROI.

Making the case for automation

Automate, optimise, integrate, repeat

If your business is still manually paying vendors, it’s time to act smart. By centralising data, you save time, increase productivity, and create a payment HQ whether you’re at home, in the office, or on the move.

Automation is about making the payment journey as frictionless as possible. Simply by processing an invoice a payment is made and the sales ledger is reconciled.

The benefits are clear:

Empowered teams with more time

By limiting time-consuming tasks, such as keying in data and matching invoices to purchase orders, finance professionals have more time to become authoritative, strategic voices within the organisation.

Greater efficiencies

Payments solutions remove the need to manually input information and can be integrated into existing ERP or procure-to-pay systems. As a result, processes are streamlined.

Meaningful insights

Automation gives you access to accurate data and meaningful insights, which in turn leads to smarter decision-making. For example, real-time data can provide greater transparency of productivity, performance and contract fulfilment across the supply chain.

A more robust supply chain

Strong analytics make it possible to identify parts of the supply chain that represent the greatest risk to business. They make it easier to understand when money is actually leaving the business, and therefore easier to optimise the balance sheet. This also improves buyer-supplier relationships by ensuring payments take place quickly and reliably, protecting the reputation of your business.

Revenue generation

Process efficiency and optimisation free up your people. Employees can then be redeployed for revenue generation and value-added strategic conversations.

Four steps to a more agile payments strategy

By optimising payments processes, businesses are able to respond strategically, quickly, and flexibly – benefiting both the business and its suppliers. Businesses can move to a more agile payments strategy by following these four steps:

Step 1

Step 1

Define your objectives. What are you trying to achieve with your payments strategy?

Step 2

Step 2

Next, turn your attention to the technical architecture of the systems required to meet your goals.

Step 3

Step 3

Ensure clear integration between your payment gateway and payment processor to achieve streamlined payment processing.

Step 4

Step 4

Find the right payment partner to support you. With an experienced solutions provider by your side, your business can achieve a seamless payment experience and value-added benefits.

Innovative solutions that automate payments can help solve the challenges businesses are facing today. From meeting customer needs to getting to grips with regulation, automated payments can be transformational – not just transactional.

Find out how Barclaycard Payments can help your business harness the power of payments today.


1Business insights and impact on the UK economy, Office for National Statistics, October 2022.

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