2015 Will See Big Advancements in Corporate Payments Technology

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In the next year, we will see significant adoption and advances in financial technology, including e-invoicing improvements, more global payment options, and new forms of connectivity.

And these financial technology platforms will be efficient, effective, and scalable.

Let’s say, for example, that a large, US-based, global company was working with a supplier in Japan.

In order to complete their business transaction, that supplier would have to either send a paper invoice or email a PDF to the enterprise, wait for that piece of paper to go through a round of approvals, and then wait for the payment, which in this case would need to be converted into local currency.

This whole process could take 30, 60 or even 90 days and contains multiple points where human errors can occur. In today’s world of instantaneous communication this process seems prolonged and unnecessarily complicated. By automating the entire process above, the procure-to-pay (P2P) process can happen in mere days instead of months.

The growth in technology will change the technology adoption culture for many companies. Take a look at your company as is stands now in this last quarter of 2014. Has technology impacted your internal communications, external marketing, and sales tactics this year? Of course it has. Has it had a tangible effect on your finance processes, including invoice strategies and payment options? Maybe not. By the end of 2015, however, I predict that this will no longer be the case.

Due to issues with compliance, data security and complex approval processes, finance departments are generally slow to adopt new technology. The consequences of an instant message not reaching its desired recipient are much less serious than, for example, an invoice not being paid on time, so finance professionals tend to prefer to stick with systems they know and trust.

The problem, though, is that these systems are typically inefficient and outdated. In today’s global economy, business transcends borders. New emerging technologies make the possibility of corporate international expansion a reality, yet companies that don’t adapt their finance and payment technology will be left behind.

In 2014, we’ve seen companies of all sizes from around the world entering and participating in global trade. In 2015, this will become even more prevalent. This increased global focus will bring great advancements in the financial technology space, allowing businesses to thrive on the world stage by being agile and adapting to the speed of a new international marketplace.

Christian Lanng is CEO and Co-Founder of Tradeshift.

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