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On the Lookout: B2B Payments Trends in 2019 (Part 2)

The future of B2B payments will be shaped by the evolution of the technology and tools that accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) teams use every day. In the past few years, we’ve seen significant changes in how the world of business operates, specifically with the streamlining of technology systems used by companies every day. But now in 2019, we’re even more excited for what is in store for businesses and the systems they use to handle their customer payments.

If you’ve kept your finger on the pulse of technology news, it’s more than likely that you’ve probably heard a thing or two about artificial intelligence (AI) and further adoption of analytics. These terms, as broad as their labels might be, are finding their way into everyday tools and systems that are helping organizations adopt smarter and more efficient strategies for staying successful.

In this second installment of the On the Lookout series, we’re going to dive into these two subjects and discuss how these new tools will provide exciting new leverage when it comes to how organizations conduct their business.

AI and analytics are bigger and better than ever

Female data analyst reviewing statistics data on a computer screen

Beyond security, AI, analytics, and Big data will continue to play increasingly bigger roles in B2B payments in the coming year.

As we continue to gain access to more and more data, analytics will play an increasingly important part in cost takeout, reducing DSO, and smarter decision-making. The big question in 2019 is not going to be “do I have enough data?” but “am I getting the most value from the data I have?” You can always get more data – there’s certainly no shortage of it. However data is meaningless if payments platforms don’t have the proper analytics in place. Big data paired with high-powered analytics can take your AR strategy to the next level and directly impact ROI, electronic adoption and ultimately, customer experience.

Analyzing the appropriate information can lead to improved operational systems, meaningful innovation, and better relationships between you, your customers, and their customers. In the new year, Big data is going to start to focus more on the customer’s customers. By getting more data on the end user’s behavior and methodology, B2B payments can start to collect what types of systems, banks, and invoicing buyers or suppliers prefer to use. By gathering this enormous amount of information, we can start to get a better perspective  of the roadblocks and develop solutions to get past them. Directories of data, such as our Business Payments Network (BPN), will help payments solutions clear some hurdles and get closer to a fast and effective payments solution, and will be developed throughout the year.

We’re also going to start to see a higher use of AI and machine learning across different parts of the AR process in 2019. Companies who have been afraid to make the switch to automation in the past are going to see that the technology can make processes more efficient, reduce costs, use less resources and decrease human error. Learning algorithms playing important roles in helping speed along authorization of transactions and monitoring unpaid invoices to help prevent late payments. Billtrust already uses learning algorithms to apply cash to invoices during the matchmaking process, using data to make a decision and match remittances with open invoices. AI’s ability to predict and improve cash flow as well as expenses and balances will prove incredibly valuable as markets continue to fluctuate in Q1 of 2019.

Check back for more findings

We hope this gave you better insight into the world of AI and analytics and where you’ll be able to find these technologies at work in the world of Billtrust solutions. Make sure to catch us again for next week’s installment of the On the Lookout series, where we’ll dive into the steady approach to a fully digital B2B universe. See you then!

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