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A Shift in Resilience Eases Credit Departments into Digital Era during Pandemic

Credit departments' shift from paper checks to digital payment platforms was underway well before COVID-19, but according to several experts, the pandemic is accelerating this transition. Diana Eagen and Frank Cook, of document automation and order management software solutions company Esker, said the current economic climate continues to ease more credit departments into the digital era when many don't have a choice but to work from home.

"There's no better time to look at this process because of the sheer amount of benefits it's providing," Eagen said. "Companies can save money throughout the payment cycle. Receiving physical checks cost twice as much as it would to process that same payment electronically. Companies that have digitized this workflow are able to track and know in real time when payments are approved and paid and, obviously, save themselves time to focus on more important tasks. Ultimately, it cuts down on errors."

Cook described today's current economic climate as a "strike-while-the-iron-is-hot situation" because of the shift in resilience as people are forced to work at home and adopt a new culture. Once everybody can go back to the office and they have the option to change, he noted, there is likely to be a spike in resistance.

Internal payment processes are also changing as some employers are adopting pay cards to pay their employees, Laura Valdespino, director of compliance solutions at ADP, recently told PYMNTS. Rather than have employees touch checks and have the business undergo costs to send them out, Valdespino said in the article, "Employers are stating that they want out of writing checks. And they can show employees that 'I can safely pay you quickly, in some cases instantaneously.'"

—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate

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Sunday, 20 September 2020