How TD Bank Helps Businesses Modernize Payment Processes
There’s an old quote that says, “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.”
That adage can certainly apply to the first half of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic changed economies and digital habits almost overnight. Traffic spiked suddenly on digital platforms as people worked, socialized and conducted commerce online in greater numbers than ever before.
While the pandemic accelerated digital trends that were already happening in the B2C world, it also presented a chance in the B2B payments space to revolutionize processes long overdue for modernization. Even today, accounts payable (AP) departments are dealing with paper-based and manual processes. TD Bank is committed to helping mid-market companies create more efficient and productive B2B payment practices.
Digitizing manual & paper payment processes is a top priority but requires investment
Finance departments realize that AP processes need to be modernized and have a keen desire to do so. There is a clear opportunity to realize cost savings and efficiency gains by reducing manual and paper-based functions. In fact, according to the 2019 B2B Payments Survey, 60% of respondents ranked manual payment generation as a top operational challenge, second only to security concerns.
Meanwhile, according to the 2019 AFP Electronic Payments Survey, 46% of middle market companies’ B2B payments continue to be made by check. In the same survey, 47% of respondents cited cost savings as the top benefit of using electronic payments, followed by fraud control at 42% and better supplier relations at 38%.
Still, there are obstacles to modernization. These include vendor resistance to electronic payment adoption, difficulty meeting vendor requirements for electronic remittance delivery and the technological challenges of implementing electronic payments.
Internal resources must also be deployed. For example, banks must appropriately authenticate suppliers’ requests to change bank account details for ACH and wire payments. It takes time and human capital to authenticate these requests to avoid being the victim of a fraud attack seeking to redirect payments.
There are also strict security controls that must be met with B2B payments, such as securely storing and managing your suppliers’ bank data to prevent a breach and having proper fraud measures in place.
Smart businesses are now devoting the time, resources and capital toward streamlined, digitized payment processes.
Digital payments deliver multiple benefits to make AP departments more efficient
Middle-market companies are in a unique position. Generally, they don’t have access to the big tech budgets of large global companies to build their own systems. At the same time, they have more complex internal processes than small and micro businesses.
Here are just a few benefits:
- Enables AP departments to maximize efficiency, visibility and security by automating the entire payment process. This is more important than ever as business becomes more digital and workforces increasingly virtual.
- Helps organizations innovate legacy processes, such as automating payments, maximizing the use of electronic payments and transforming previously manual tasks into fraud-resistant automated workflows.
- Simplifies and streamlines AP by processing all payment types—including virtual cards, ACH and checks—with a single file easily generated from financial systems. This improves efficiency for back-office personnel who can be deployed to work on more value-added tasks.
- Allows electronic AP platform users to benefit from vast network intelligence, with more than 425,000 clients across the globe. This helps vendors get paid quickly and easily from multiple payers, all in one place.
TD Bank is focused on delivering not only products, but robust solutions that can help businesses manage the evolving environment. This solutions-based approach was expressed well by David Nemi, Sales & Marketing Manager for Franklin Printing in Farmington, Maine.
“As a growing business, we look for a bank that offers services that support our efforts,” Nemi said. “Whether it be a safe and secure platform to manage our money online or a lease for a capital investment, TD has risen to the challenge. The team supporting us locally really goes the extra mile to make sure our needs are met. Whenever we talk with someone at TD, we can tell they care about us and our success. TD is a large bank that feels small, which makes all the difference to us.”
Rapid change creates new business opportunities
A crucial lesson from 2020 is that business dynamics and the economic environment can change rapidly and without warning. As the pandemic drove life to virtual channels at much higher rates than ever, businesses were suddenly thrust into unforeseen circumstances. TD Bank’s digital solutions can help businesses respond in an agile manner to the needs of vendors and customers.
That’s exactly how Greater Philadelphia YMCA navigated these unchartered waters.
“The day the governor mandated the shutdown of non-essential businesses in Pennsylvania, TD was sitting in our conference room ready for a pulse check on our recently launched Payment-Card program and to work on our Paymode-X initiative,” said Neely Rosen, Chief Financial Officer for the Greater Philadelphia YMCA. “This will help ensure optimal payment terms for our organization and leverage TD’s network to shift our check-centric payment process to ACH—saving precious labor hours, reducing fees and allowing for more insightful reporting. In the meantime, the recently launched P-Card digital workflow for approvals has allowed us to remain nimble, work remotely and still ensure compliance over our expenses.”
In an uncertain world, businesses are looking to the smart use of technology to help them achieve their goals. TD Bank can provide the AP solutions that enable businesses to not only survive but thrive during the ongoing digital revolution.