Getting Back To ‘Normal’ Payments Is Not Good Enough

When the pandemic hit, Corporate Spending Innovations (CSI) worked with its customers to help them adapt to newly remote working environments, and plans to continue leading them toward B2B digitization in 2021. “We will focus on helping businesses of all sizes and in all industries to achieve greater efficiencies, reduce costs, increase security and find new sources of revenue through payments automation,” says David Disque, president of CSI, in “A Look Forward: What Executives Wish for America and the World in 2021.”

Corporate Spending Innovations (CSI), like many other businesses, witnessed the substantial impact the pandemic had on industries across the globe, such as travel, hospitality and many others. We looked at the challenges from a financial and payments perspective and worked with our customers to assist them with the overnight change of working from remote environments.

There were invoices and checks going to empty offices and accounts payable departments that were forced to send staff into the office to keep day-to-day operations up and running. Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) became painfully aware that digitizing AP, especially payments, was an initiative that should have been implemented years ago. They faced critical challenges, including damage to their supplier relationships due to late payments and cash flow shortages. If you look for a silver lining in the global pandemic we faced in 2020, we saw families and friends grow closer and not take each other for granted. In some ways, our very existence relied heavily on digital connections for our work and personal life. As consumers, we are all connected to family and friends through the internet, smartphones and online meetings.

What CSI would like to see for America, and for the world in 2021, is for businesses to reach the same level of B2B payment digitization to survive and thrive in 2021 and beyond. We believe that more and more businesses will discover that payments automation is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have, and that companies worldwide will embrace technology and innovation as the payments ecosystem evolves to meet the changing landscape of digital business. Most companies are driven by the challenges experienced over the last eight months. We all need to be prepared for what is coming next.

With innovations like cloud-based payments workflow, automated and integrated AP, robotic process automation, straight-through processing, artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics, we believe that AP departments will become truly touchless environments. As the B2B payments market reinvents itself through advanced technologies, we will see more collaboration where there once was competition. Banks, networks and FinTechs will continue to strengthen their partnerships to explore the power and business value of electronic automation.

We will focus on helping businesses of all sizes and in all industries to achieve greater efficiencies, reduce costs, increase security and find new sources of revenue through payments automation. Finally, it is our belief that AP departments will expand beyond tactical execution centers and transform into profit centers — and that innovation, technology and automation will reach new heights to take us to the next generation of digital business.

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