Market Overview

New Research Shows SMB Headaches Associated With Paper Checks Continues – Many Looking to Digital Payments to Solve Pains

Share: Releases B2B Payments Market Study Conducted by Barlow
the leading U.S. business payments network today announced the results
of a study on payment practices and attitudes among the SMB market
conducted by Barlow Research Associates, Inc. The results indicate that
most SMBs continue to make business payments by check, and they are met
with a number of pain points that could be resolved if they switched to
digital payments.

While consumer digital payment solutions have experienced fast and
wide-spread adoption, the complex nature of business operations has
resulted in a slower embrace of B2B electronic solutions. asked
SMB owners to choose their top three payment methods, and paper checks
came out on top at 86 percent. But digital payments are making inroads
among the group, with over a quarter citing online payments as their
preferred method of payment, and 16 percent selecting direct payment
from a biller's website.

"Small and mid-size businesses have traditionally made their business
payments with paper checks, and crossing the chasm to digital has been
difficult because of all of the other aspects of the business that are
affected," said Youa Yang, Digital Banking Program Director of Barlow
Research Associates, Inc. "However, clinging to paper checks causes a
number of headaches that can be alleviated with the adoption of digital

While most SMB owners choose paper checks as their primary payment
method, the study highlighted that there are a number of pain points
experienced when making predominately paper-based payments. When asked
about the top three pain points when paying vendors, 40 percent cited
time spent on the bill payment, 27 percent human error and 26 percent
tracking and storing the right information for tax preparation. Each can
be easily alleviated with the adoption of digital business payments.

"We used to have a very manual process set in place for our billing. If
we didn't receive deliverables in time we'd have to conduct individual
follow ups," said Angela Tam, senior accountant at Khan Academy. "Since
we automated our payments, we spend half the time we would have
previously spent on the process - it's incredible how much time we've
gained back."

A different set of pain points exists for getting paid by clients or
customers. When asked about the three biggest pain points for the
receivable side of the payments process, over half of respondents said
chasing after customers who delay their payments is a frequent
difficulty. SMB owners also noted the expense associated with receiving
payments (23%) and the challenge associated with keeping track of all
payments received (21%).

"SMBs' business payment headaches all lead back to efficiency," said
Yang. "The survey results highlight that point. It should open business
owners' eyes to the fact that digital business payments can be made as
easily as the consumer payments they are making today."

To see a slideshow of the survey, please visit the

About Barlow Research Associates, Inc.

Barlow Research Associates, Inc. (BRAI) was founded in 1980 to provide
research and consulting services to the financial services industry in
the U.S. and globally. BRAI specializes in custom research, strategic
consulting and syndicated research programs in small business, middle
market and digital business banking. BRAI has a wide range of experience
in many financial markets and knows the questions to ask and the issues
to probe.

About is the leading business payments network with 3 million members
processing over $50 billion per year in payment volume.
partners with four of the top 10 largest U.S. banks, more than 60 of the
top 100 accounting firms, major accounting software providers including
Intuit, Xero, Netsuite and Intacct and is the preferred provider of
digital payments solutions for, the technology arm of the
American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Recognized as one of San Francisco
Business Times' and Silicon Valley Business Journal's "2018 Best Places
to Work," is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The
company has $200M in funding with its most recent investors including
Temasek and JP Morgan Chase.

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