Gone are the days of the buyer dictating payment method to suppliers. What was once the payers’ prerogative—determining how they paid their suppliers—is now becoming a joint decision between suppliers and buyers.
Today, with a host of new electronic payment platforms available in the marketplace, merchants are being asked to sign up for multiple electronic payment methods, causing them to be more reluctant to join because of the operational effort it takes to manage multiple payment portals, remittance types, and electronic payment forms. As a result, merchants are loudly saying “no” when approached by their buyers to join a network and accept card or ACH for payment. Consequently, buyers are realizing that their automated payment programs are only as successful as their enablement of key merchants.
To support their buyers, solution providers are placing more emphasis on supplier enablement services. Enablement services have been successful, and buyers have begun to count on external support of merchant enablement. To ensure the success of their payment automation programs, payers are now engaging more and more in creating a supplier enablement strategy and enlisting the support of industry experts to increase supplier conversion.
Business has responded to this need by creating a new services sector completely focused on supplier enablement. The most recent report in Mercator Advisory Group’s Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service, titled e-Payment Programs: Success Depends on Supplier Enablement Strategy
, discusses strategies and techniques that companies use to get suppliers to agree to accept automated payments. Mercator Advisory Group expects to see an upward trend over the next year in the use of supplier analyses, and we anticipate more payers creating a supplier campaign strategy to increase penetration of their automated payments and achieve a truly paperless payment process.
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