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Investment in Digital Transformation is Critical to Secure Business Growth; Reveals Conferma

Investment in digital transformation and new payment solutions is set to power business growth and will enable international expansion, according to the latest report from Conferma, a UK-based payments provider.

The Conferma findings, presented in the ‘Growth Ignition Index‘ report, come from a survey of over 400 financial decision-makers from the UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Brazil and UAE, looking to understand more about what businesses think will ignite growth and what stands in their way.

Beyond the need to increase customer demand (46 per cent), businesses say improving cash flow (36 per cent) and investing in digital transformation (34 per cent) are most needed to secure business growth in the next five years.

International expansion emerged as a priority for 45 per cent of businesses, with exactly half having invested significantly into capabilities such as new tech, hires and partnerships to unlock these new opportunities.

Jason Lalor, CEO of Conferma
Jason Lalor, CEO of Conferma

Jason Lalor, CEO of Conferma, discussed the report: “Our findings show that businesses are very clear about how they need to grow, but in many cases face significant barriers based on both internal and external factors.

“We know that those who invest in technology, and focus on digital transformation, do so with a clear purpose and not just to keep up. The investment in payment capabilities, in particular, is a reflection of the fact that growth is reliant on an expanding ecosystem of transactions and that payments – wherever they happen – must be made as simple and efficient as possible.”

Investing in new technology was the leading business priority overall (59 per cent), with a large number of firms committing ‘significant’ investment in payment capabilities (57 per cent). Eighty-eight per cent also said they were either actively using or were considering using virtual cards to meet strategic objectives.

Turning to virtual cards

Fifty-four per cent of respondents revealed that instant payments that deliver funds at the point of transfer would improve efficiency and therefore accelerate growth, while 43 per cent explained that integrating new payment solutions with their existing systems would deliver gains. Exactly a third said that both automated repeat purchases and zero-admin touchless payments would provide greater efficiency.

Those turning to virtual cards did so to support growth objectives they had separately outlined. For those already utilising virtual cards, 46 per cent cited improved security and reduced fraud risk as the primary benefit, emphasising the important role virtual cards play in fortifying payment processes.

Another significant benefit cited by 22 per cent of virtual card users was simpler cross-border payments for their organisation – supporting intentions to trade overseas.

Lalor added: “Virtual cards can offer a compelling solution to the challenges limiting international growth by offering enhanced security, streamlined onboarding and supplier processes, and seamless cross-border transactions. We’ve found that those who use virtual cards are more likely to have undertaken wider business transformation processes, highlighting how virtual cards are increasingly viewed as a means of reaching strategic business objectives.”

Sixty-seven per cent of current users deploy virtual cards when paying for services, demonstrating their versatility beyond simple payments such as supplies or low-level repeat orders. Purchasing technology or equipment (57 per cent) and paying for software (51 per cent) also showcase the breadth of their B2B applications.

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