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Why Digital Payments Are Important For SMEs

By FedEx | September 15, 2020

Is your business ready for the low-touch economy? Learn how digital payments can protect your long term revenue stream.

The COVID-19 health crisis has highlighted how contact-free payment mechanisms can improve business outcomes for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Business owners who are powering through the pandemic attest to the crucial role of technology to keep their revenues afloat.

Social media is the main channel that facilitates the flow of e-commerce. Well before the pandemic, SMEs have been on-board with apps and customized ads to reach customers who are increasingly hooked to their smartphones.

Globally, digitally-enabled consumer payments are rising, with transactions totaling US$4.14 trillion in 2019, a 15% increase year on year, according to the We Are Social report 2020.

Solving cash flow problems

In the new normal, businesses have to adapt capacity building initiatives such as digitalizing operations, digital upskilling, and the use of e-commerce platforms as part of their business continuity planning.

Being part of the digital payments ecosystem can help them solve one issue that they have always struggled with, and more acutely during a pandemic: cash flow. From small vendors to large global supply chains, businesses are vulnerable to lengthened or delayed payment terms.

Having immediate access to funds is the key to solving this challenge. Equipped with the means to instantly receive funds, entrepreneurs can allocate a financial safety net to shore up operations during low periods, and make necessary adjustments to stay in business. With the digital payment method installed in one’s operations, there is no need to run to the bank to do daily deposits.

The Philippines has made great strides in recent years towards building an inclusive digital payments ecosystem. The State of Digital Payments report made by Better Than Cash Alliance and the Central Bank of the Philippines estimated that there are 470-490 million local digital transactions every month. This is nearly 20 times more than the number of monthly digital transactions in 2013.

The advantages of digital payments can be seen in B2B transactions as well. The same study cites that businesses can save US$ 20-45 billion annually by digitizing supplier payments alone.

Enhanced payment security

But along with the increased use of electronic transactions during and beyond the quarantine period comes a heightened onslaught of hacking and scamming attempts.

While this prospect can deter potential customers from using digital payments, the convenience, speed, and novelty of going cashless are powerful motivators for many adopters.

Financial regulators, banking institutions, and fintech service providers continue to develop and deploy technology measures to ensure the security of online transactions. There are biometric authentication methods like fingerprints or facial recognition on phones and banking apps, and text-based security features such as the One-Time Password (OTP) to be keyed in to enable online transactions and minimize the risk of fraud.

For business’ logistical needs, FedEx has online payment methods such as QR Pay. This is intended to similarly enhance the customer experience, ensure contactless payment security, and facilitate an efficient shipping process.

Automating payments

In business, every little advantage can go a long way. One small step that improves efficiency is switching to automated payments.

This solution can streamline processes, cut down costs, eliminate human error and the threat of fraud, and speed up invoice processing. Overdue payments, misplaced invoices, and the need to hunt down payments can all be avoided by automating electronic payments. It guarantees that orders and invoices get to where they need to be, and ensures that suppliers and contractors are paid faster.

Moreover, significant savings can be realized once the manual processing of cheques and receivables is removed since maintaining this alone is expensive.

Numerous cases can be cited on how digital payments can ensure business continuity amidst the most trying of times. Ultimately, having such a robust and secure payment infrastructure enhances consumer confidence, guarantees repeat purchase, and secures loyalty.

Check out other FedEx shipping tools to manage your transactions with ease.

[1] Subject to relevant terms and conditions


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