Poll: Midsize businesses seek to increase payments options

Newer payments systems such as social tokens and virtual cards are growing more popular among midsize businesses to conduct financial transactions, but traditional payment methods such as checks and physical credit cards still dominate, according to a new survey by Citizens Bank. The poll of treasury departments in middle-market businesses found that most companies use five payment methods on average. Physical credit cards and wire transfers were most widely used, and half of respondents reported they use paper checks. Still, most companies expressed interest in expanding their payments mix.

Among newer payment methods, 58% of respondents said they use business-to-consumer options such as peer-to-peer payment for treasury functions. Thirty-nine percent of respondents say they have used virtual cards, with human capital management and business services reporting the highest adoption of the technology. Many respondents also had a favorable view of social tokens—a form of cryptocurrency—seeing the technology as easy and secure with the benefit of not needing to retain bank account information on company servers.