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What corporates want from request to pay

The Euro Banking Association has published the findings of its recent request to pay survey with PPI, in a new report titled 'Request to Pay: What Corporates Want'. The report pinpoints corporate needs, pain points and expectations related to request to pay in general and to the following four use cases in particular:

  • Point of sale/interaction (POS/POI).
  • Online commerce. 
  • E-invoicing.
  • Recurring payments.

The overall interest among survey respondents in a pan-European request to pay instrument is tremendously high: close to 100% of them show an interest in the use of the new instrument and support the offering of a Europe-wide mode of operation for request to pay. Roughly nine out of 10 would also be interested in using request to pay for cross-border payments in Europe.

Respondents have already identified a number of areas where further action would be needed in order to boost the introduction of request to pay and fully unlock its benefits for both payees and payers.

Exploring the use cases for request to pay

While a vast majority of respondents consider the use of request to pay as being relevant for POS/POI and e-invoicing (the question was not included for recurring payments), nine out of 10 respondents agree or strongly agree with its relevance for e-commerce, making this the most compelling use case. It is, however, not the use case that attracted the largest number of responses – here, it ended up second behind recurring payments.

Aside from asking respondents to rate the importance of specific functionality, pre-requisites or benefits of request to pay for the different use cases, the survey also asked about additional benefits and about anything else that would be needed to make request to pay successful regarding the respective use cases.

It was interesting to see that there was one additional benefit of request to pay mentioned for all four cases:

  • Provision of structured billing information / invoice / receipts as part of the request to pay.

Two more benefits were raised for all use cases, except for POS/POI:

  • Easier and better reconciliation.
  • Flexibility to offer payment in instalments/on a pre-set date or to extend payment deadlines.

The following missing elements or success factors were identified across all four use cases:

  • Uniform pan-European solution/experience.
  • High market penetration (PSPs, merchants, customers).
  • Use of request to pay in combination with instant payments/payment certainty or guarantee/irrevocability of payments.
  • Standardised, fully automated and highly integrated processes (e.g. with existing ERP systems).

Given the importance of payment certainty in the context of POS/POI and e-commerce transactions in particular, the report contains a dedicated section comparing payment certainty aspects and options for these two use cases.

"Request to pay services can only make a positive difference if they deliver added value to users and are optimally integrated with users' payment processes and interfaces," said Thomas Egner, secretary general of the Euro Banking Association. "That is why it is important for banks and other service providers to understand from businesses how they would like to use request to pay, which pain points it should solve and which benefits it should deliver for their payment, accounting and other internal processes as well as for their customers."

Methodology

The questionnaire was submitted by 113 respondents from 20 countries. The typical respondent is either a payment professional or a corporate treasurer, located in Germany, Italy or France, representing a large multinational company operating in the B2C and B2B space and is already aware of the new pan-European request to pay instrument. In-depth interviews were also conducted with 10 corporates from nine companies in five European countries. Interview partners included corporate treasurers, retail payment experts and digital channel specialists. They represent online merchants, brick- and-mortar retailers and manufacturers or are active in facility management or financial services; the majority serve both retail and corporate customers.

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