Nothing changes the status quo faster than a disaster, and it is often technology that helps us adjust – and that’s the case with the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have responded by automating tasks, expanding mobile and online channels, utilizing APIs to enable new products and partners, and Robotic Process Automation to reduce the number of employees needed to perform key processes.
Companies that already moved to the cloud saw major benefits in the ability to scale with the record number of customers that poured in online, or reduced costs as activity shrank. Technology for online interaction is being rapidly deployed as merchants add order for pickup and delivery options, which isn’t reflected here:
“These companies connect supplier payments and billing to accounting and enterprise resource planning systems. The race among these firms is to be an essential project when other technology initiatives may get pushed back.
“Crises define customer relationships, and what a company does with a customer at a time of crisis will define the relationship forever,” said Thad Peterson, a senior analyst at Aite, adding retailers are also aggressively upgrading online capabilities.
Part of boosting onboarding speed is general communication, Caudill said. “Innovating is about listening to what companies need,” Caudill said of positioning payments automation as a business continuity move. “Companies are deprioritizing some projects.”
The general trend toward cloud-based and open development will help payment companies deploy digital transactions faster. Square, for example, recently boosted its API to accommodate larger companies. And Stripe in the past year has made moves to connect its B2B platforms with other Stripe payment technology.
“The bottom line across the board right now is any tech deployment is going to need a fast turnaround,” said Sam Maule, a managing partner for 11:FS. “It really needs to be that ‘seven lines of code’ for the next few months.””
Overview provided by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group.
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