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2024’s top payment technology trends

5 mins read
Published on 08-03-2024

2024 is shaping up to be a year of major change and innovation in payments. Major players in the industry are focusing on finding ways to make payments more convenient, secure, and personalized for businesses and consumers alike. Capitalizing on these changes will help you to both reduce operational friction throughout your organization, cut costs, and strengthen your relationships with vendors and suppliers.  

In this article, we’ll take a look at the most important emerging trends in the payments landscape over the coming year. Including the rise in real-time and account-to-account payments, the growing importance of self-service portals, and the now vital role of automation in simplifying the way you pay and stay secure while doing so. 

1. Real-time payments and account-to-account payments gain momentum

Perhaps the most important trend of the year will be the accelerated move toward real-time payments as the norm for business transactions. New introductions like FedNow in the US and the increasing prominence of “Banking-as-a-Service” are allowing the instant movement of money through real-time payment and account-to-account channels via APIs.  

 According to Fintech Futures, the real-time payment market is expected to grow to $86.69 billion by 2028 – an increase of 32% over 5 years. This shift is likely to have huge implications both for the velocity of money and cross-border commerce, with payments and particularly international payments becoming faster and more seamless. It’s also likely to cause a rapid shift in supplier expectations: now instant payments (rather than just instant presentment) are possible, they will likely increasingly be demanded. You’ll need to be prepared to make them, and that starts with reviewing your current payment platforms, partners, and tech stack to take advantage of the new normal. 

A real-time world is likely to have its advantages for payees too, however: instant payments (provided you have sufficient visibility) make for a much clearer picture of your organization’s working capital up to the moment, giving you more power to make faster decisions and the flexibility that comes with the instant exchange of cash for goods and services. 

2. Reducing the cost of payments 

The end of the low-interest era, combined with more volatile credit markets and increased geopolitical uncertainty, is driving up the cost of payments around the world. With liquidity management becoming more challenging as a result, organizations will be looking to control the cost of payments through all available avenues.  

The most promising of these will include using automation to reduce overall labor costs and error rates. Many larger corporations are also likely to bring their payment operations in-house to gain greater control and boost efficiency while offering an improved customer experience – and to decrease their dependency on banks by centralizing finance operations to manage their internal transactions themselves. LexisNexis cite that 90% of decision-makers already see payment operations as a major headache for their business, suggesting a big move could happen in very short order. 

3. The cloud becomes the obvious choice for payment operations 

For the kind of scalable, flexible architecture required to in-house payment operations while also making seamless real-time options viable, cloud is increasingly becoming the obvious strategic choice – especially as many large organizations look to integrate their payment operations solutions and platforms with their ERP, DOP, HR, and TMS systems. 

This movement dovetails with the accelerating migration of many ERP vendors’ solutions to hybrid and fully cloud-native offerings, and with increased pushes for automation across all parts of the payment ecosystem. 

4. Automation will be increasingly used to facilitate smoother payment processes… 

Fully leveraging real-time payments while keeping costs optimized for in-house operational scenarios will mean automation becomes more important than ever. API technology and other new payment rails are already paving the way for the acceleration of the real-time trend. As we move forward, AI and Machine Learning solutions will increasingly support payment optimization, giving organizations the ability to streamline corporate cash management processes and forecasting, and also help to optimize costs and transaction placement across even the most complex organizations. 

5.… and also to combat and prevent fraud and cyber crime 

With more and more payments now moving to digital channels, authorized push payment (APP) fraud – a scam consisting of tricking someone into sending fraudulent payments via real-time channels – has now become the most prevalent fraud threat globally (surpassing identity theft and traditional card fraud). Combatting APP fraud is especially tricky because it occurs in real-time and can’t be reversed.  

While the wider adoption of confirmation of payee controls (usually 2- or multi-factor authentication methods) will be the most common method with which to tackle this type of fraud, we can expect to see more sophisticated AI and ML techniques (such as pattern analysis to predict likely fraudulent payments and stop them before they’re made) deployed with increasing frequency to help prevent fraud and other types of cybercrime. 

How is Serrala helping customers to prepare for and capitalize on these trends? 

Serrala is committed to providing payment solutions to customers that offer the full benefits inherent to these trends, and which safeguard against major sources of risk. Including: 

Successfully migrating FS2 Payments from ECC to S/4HANA: we’ve undertaken a successful move to S/4HANA, SAP’s next-generation ERP system. The move empowers you to leverage all the features and benefits of the new platform while keeping the core clean. 

Facilitating instant payments for your organization: you can now establish a solution for instant payments with FS² Payments and SEPA Credit Transfer Instant (SCT Inst). Allowing you to gain full control of how you manage your working capital and giving you up-to-the-minute knowledge of payment success and cash position for improved decision velocity, improved vendor satisfaction and relationships, and reduced payment cost overhead.  

Extending FS2 Payments with cloud capabilities: We’re incorporating cloud extensions into our FS² Payments solution, giving you the ability to leverage the strategic advantages of clouds for your business’s payment operations. 

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Ready to learn more? 

Serrala’s solutions are designed to create a coherent, end-to-end ecosystem for your invoice-to-pay processes that simplifies your accounting workflows and allows for full working capital optimization. To learn more about how we can help you revolutionize your approach to accounts payable – and how our solutions can streamline and automate every part of the process for greater efficiency, transparency, and decision velocity, check out our resource pages here or click here to book a demo


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