Faster Payments may have grabbed many of the headlines in recent years, but it’s actually enriched data that finance departments and commercial bankers want most to make their jobs easier, new research has revealed. The good news is that you can have both with Optal’s Virtual Account Number (VAN) solution, which offers the ability to add extra data to each transaction to improve the accuracy, speed and security of B2B electronic payments and improve the efficiency of reconciliations.
The drive for data
The TD Bank poll of 336 finance professionals and bankers from around the globe revealed that the majority value most the attachment of rich data to payment files, claiming it boosts operational efficiency. Around a third rated faster settlements as most important. The research also pointed to the continued importance of cybersecurity and fraud prevention. Three-quarters (74%) of corporates and 92% of banks ranked online fraud as one of their top concerns this year.
The findings chime with a new Optal study into payment processes. We asked 1,000 senior finance executives within FTSE 350 companies and large public sector organisations what they thought of the state of B2B payments. Over half (57%) were attracted to the ability of VANs to provide enriched data to enable faster reconciliations.
The VAN difference
The bottom line is that VANs offer an improvement over traditional payment systems like BACS and SWIFT in terms of the amount of rich data that can be added to each transaction. This can help to:
- Reduce the chance of misdirected payments
- Accelerate and improve efficiency of reconciliations
- Reduce fraud
- Improve audit trails
Our report found that £60m is currently spent on reconciliations thanks to outdated and inefficient processes. It’s time firms switched to a faster, more secure alternative. It’s time you looked into VANs to optimise supplier payment processes.