New technologies are transforming the world of payments and redefining customer expectations and commercial behaviour.
This is particularly true in Australia, which is primed to lead the way. In the 12 months to March 2018, 14.5 million Australians over the age of 14, or 72% of the population, used some kind of digital payment solution, according to research from Roy Morgan.
We are seeing every aspect of payments undergoing rapid transformation driven by the fact that who, how, when, where, and even why we pay is changing. We’ve seen contactless payments become the norm, use of mobile wallets surge in popularity and businesses turning to solutions that provide greater control and visibility of spending.
But keeping up with the latest changes in technology, as well as employee and consumer expectations, is no easy task. Unfortunately, businesses that slip behind on the innovation curve put their success at risk.
This was highlighted by research from American Express that found 59% of Australian businesses that reported inefficient internal payment practices, said they are at significant risk of failing in the next three years.
One area of payments that’s of particular importance to many businesses is how they track, manage and control the payments made by their staff. This is growing increasingly complex given that the nature of workforces has radically transformed, almost becoming unrecognisable from what it was five years ago.
Today we are seeing workforces become more dynamic and less structured than ever before. The increasing demand for contract, temporary and freelance work is so significant that for the first time, 2018 saw less than half of all Australians employed in permanent full-time jobs.
This seemingly constant disruption in payments and the makeup of workforces has presented the need for new technology and today we are seeing virtual payments become the new reality to address this change and the evolving needs of the market.
Recent developments in virtual payment technology for businesses provide an improved solution for companies seeking to better manage the business finances of temporary workers, contractors and general employees.
This type of technology allows businesses to issue a virtual card straight to a mobile wallet in just a few minutes, and set individual virtual card limits, ‘top-up’ or cancel payments at any time, monitor spending in real time, and easily track and consolidate expenses. The benefits for businesses are enormous – greater control, transparency, and simplicity.
Businesses look to the payments industry to provide solutions that enable and accelerate their success and help achieve their aspirations. Yet businesses must also challenge the status quo and ensure they are evolving their own practices by responding to the needs of their customers and staff.
The focus today needs to be on digitising critical stages of the commerce journey. The race to respond is on. Those that cross the finish line first will be those that embrace change and see it as an opportunity to do better.
Through our Global Commercial Services division, American Express offers powerful backing and support that helps companies of all sizes gain financial savings, control and efficiency. We provide a suite of payment and lending products, solutions for travel and everyday business spending, cross border payments, global currency solutions, and business financing.