U.S. companies are laggards when it comes to paying bills electronically compared with their European counterparts, according to research from financial technology researcher Celent Communications. U.S. businesses used checks in 82 percent of the nine billion business-to-business payments made last year, while the volume of electronic payments surpassed that of checks in some European countries and in Canada, the research indicates.
By using electronic payments such as wire transfers, automated clearinghouse payments and corporate purchasing cards, businesses can reduce operating costs. But the lack of e-payment standards among banks, the low cost of checks, security concerns, and the integration work required to link e-payment systems with accounting systems have all hindered adoption in the United States, Celent analyst Alenka Grealish said. "Businesses have a lot on their plate," Grealish said. "This is just one squeaky wheel among many."