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Businesses’ Slow Dash to Digital Banking and Payments

Stephen Markwell, Head of Treasury Services Product Strategy for Commercial Banking, explains what’s holding businesses back from expanding digital banking and how banks can help overcome these barriers.

“Eager, savvy digital adopter.” “Willing to learn.” This is how the majority of business leaders describe themselves when it comes to digital banking and payments, according to a recent JPMorgan Chase survey.

In their day to day business lives, most executives favor banking digitally: Nearly all – 99 percent – already conduct some degree of their business banking online, and four out of five say they prefer to bank online. They are also eager to use digital banking tools, and cite the ability to conduct business anytime and from anywhere, greater control and visibility into the company’s finances, and time saved as the top reasons they value online banking.

What’s Holding Businesses Back?

The same survey found that, despite positive attitudes about digitization, 45 percent of business leaders do not plan to increase their business’ digital banking, indicating that limitations still exist in moving from paper to digital.


Cybersecurity continues to be top of mind for executives when it comes to digital banking, with 70 percent of respondents reporting that they’re extremely or very concerned. Some indicate that while they want to go paperless, their customers and vendors still pay with paper checks, holding them back. There are also complex business scenarios that require in-person or phone contact.

When you take these obstacles into consideration, it’s not surprising that checks are still the most common payment type for businesses.

Partnering to Accelerate Digital Adoption

So what can business leaders do, and how can banks help, to accelerate digital adoption and make banking easy, simple and fast?

  • Cybersecurity Prevention and Preparedness. Companies can take measures to help avoid a cybersecurity attack, and banks can provide clients with education and training to foster cyber awareness:
    • Execute additional controls, such as regular cybersecurity training for employees
    • Validate payment instructions with the sender, either in person or by telephone using a known telephone number
    • Look for red flags in an email, such as a change in the domain name or poor grammar or spelling
    • Implement dual payment authority measures and ensure that two people are looking at payment instructions before processing

  • Partnering with Fintechs. Strategic collaboration between banks and fintechs can bring critical technology to bear for clients. JPMorgan Chase is actively engaged with fintechs to improve and enhance the digital banking and payments experience. Strong fintech partnerships can yield creative solutions that eliminate clients’ pain points and push forward toward a digital future.

  • Tapping the Power of Feedback Loops. Banks can accelerate development of transformational client experiences by pulling client engagement forward in the product development cycle – from concept to design through to user experience testing. This will ensure that digital solutions have a seamless user experience and can be fully integrated into clients’ lives.

  • Staying Ahead of Emerging Technologies. Emerging technologies have the potential to change the way companies do business. In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, taking the time to understand how technology is transforming businesses is critical.

To be sure, there are certain aspects of banking that business leaders prefer to keep ‘offline.’ Having a trusting relationship with a dedicated banker who understands their business and industry can never be replaced. But if banks and businesses can work together to digitize and automate manual and operational aspects of banking, we can demand ease, simplicity and time savings. And in a world where time is money, when business leaders save time, they can invest more in the future of their business.

This article was originally published in PaymentsJournal.

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