Tomorrow’s world today

3-minute read

CFOs have rarely faced a more challenging operating environment. But they’re ready to embrace B2B payments innovation, form new partnerships, and make the most of new opportunities.

Business to business payments news

The challenges – what does the data say?

Rising operating costs

Rising operating costs

98% of CFOs anticipate a rise in operating costs, and 46% expect those rises to be significant1

Business to business payments news

Supply chain disruption

31% of CFOs experienced significant or severe levels of supply chain disruption between Q3 2021 and Q1 20221

Lack of skilled workers

Lack of skilled workers

One in four anticipate significant or severe labour shortages into 20231

The goal for most organisations is to develop streamlined payments structures and a strong, diverse single provider. But not every business has achieved that.

In the era of Finance 4.0, payments solutions are evolving rapidly, providing finance teams with the tools they need to not just survive, but thrive.

The possible solutions:

Automation to improve efficiency and optimise cashflow

Embedded analytics to improve transparency across B2B payments and allow for real-time decision making

A consolidation and simplification of data and payment methods

Some of the technology already exists, but we’ll see major strides over the next five years that could further transform finance teams.

So, how are consumer expectations and behaviours changing, what do we think this means for the long-term future of payments, and how could this change the work of finance departments over the coming years?

Thought Leadership Graphics
  • How are payments trends changing?

    A forced change in behaviour during the pandemic has accelerated trends we were already starting to see:

    B2B companies now expect omnichannel: 94% feel new omnichannel sales models are as effective or more effective compared to sales models used before the pandemic3

    Companies will pay more for a payments solution if they understand the benefits and added value it offers4

    eCommerce is now considered a more effective sales channel than face-to-face: 65% v 53%3

    B2B decision-makers will spend more on eCommerce channels: 35% are willing to spend over $500k in a single transaction; 77% are willing to spend over $50k3

    Challenges faced by CFOs across the board are driving an increased need for payments flexibility:

    Virtual cards account for £787bn today, but this is expected to rise to £3.2tn by 20265

    Instant payments are forecast to grow from £2.6tn in 2021 to £15.7tn in 20265

  • What does this mean for the evolution of payments technology?

    We’re entering a period of rapid digitalisation (aka Finance 4.0): 82% of CFOs say that their investments in digital are accelerating.2

    But where do we expect them to invest? 64% of CFOs believe autonomous finance can become a reality within the next six years.6

    Longer-term, we could see finance teams moving beyond automation to things like self-learning and self-correction:

    Machine learning to improve cash and investment forecasting (currently used by 21% of finance teams)6

    Prescriptive analytics to improve decision-making (19%)6

    Natural language processing to better understand and predict future trends (12%)6

    Blockchain to improve control, increase efficiency and support auditing (8%)6

    Payments solutions need to be futureproof and keep up with new trends. Providers need to be reputable, reliable and responsive.4

  • What could this mean for finance teams?

    Finance teams will become more efficient, but could also fundamentally change from being a team whose primary function is number crunching, to one that can deliver real strategic insight to counter the challenges facing business. Why? 

    Because companies that actively use analytics in marketing and sales are 1.5x more likely to achieve above-average growth7

    Those using data-driven B2B sales-growth engines report above-market growth and EBITDA increases in the range of 15-25%7

    Where does the data come from? You guessed it: finance teams powered by smart payments solutions.

    But the payments evolution reaches beyond the finance team alone. Payment strategy optimisation can benefit the business as a whole, leading to holistic operational business success.

The future of B2B payments poses a vast opportunity, but the ecosystem remains fragmented and complex.
The next step in the evolution is an expansion of integrations.

The future of payments technology is coming: get ready.


1The Deloitte CFO Survey, Q1 2022.
2Gartner, These Are the Top CFO Priorities for 2022, January 2022.
3McKinsey & Company, B2B sales: Omnichannel everywhere, every time, December 2021.
4Barclaycard Research, Truth Closeness - Understanding Multinational Acquiring Needs, September 2022.
5Juniper Research, B2B Payments Market Report: Size, Trends, Forecasts 2021-26.
6Gartner, Achieve Autonomous Finance With 3 CFO Mindset Shifts.
7McKinsey & Company: How to be a B2B outperformer, 2022.

Resources to help you make your next move

Think faster act smarter, opens in a new window

Think faster, act smarter: an agile approach to payments

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

Business to business

Business to business payments news

In an ever-evolving payments landscape, only the most up-to-date guidance can help you find your way through. So we bring together the news and expertise you need to harness the power of B2B payments.

Ready to power your next move

Ready to make your next move?

Call us on 0808 115 0683, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, or request a call back from our B2B payments specialists.

Call me back