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Survey: 80% of Organizations Are Transitioning B2B Payments from Paper Check to Electronic Payments

AFP 2015 Payments Cost Benchmarking Survey finds median cost per check transaction considerably greater than most other payment methods.

BETHESDA, Md. -- New research by the Association for Financial Professionals reveals that the high cost of check transactions is driving treasury and finance professionals away from paper checks. 

AFP conducted its inaugural 2015 Payments Cost Benchmarking Survey to provide more granular information on the costs of making payments through checks, ACH, wires and cards, as well as to gauge payment trends by organization size. The report provides transaction volumes and detailed cost data for key payment methods. Results distinguish between external and internal costs and highlight median ranges for various demographic categories and payment methods. 

The survey is underwritten by Bottomline Technologies and includes responses from 534 treasury and finance professionals. Full results are available at 

According to the survey, nearly 80 percent of organizations are in the process of transitioning their business-to-business payments from paper checks to electronic payments. In addition, more than two out of three organizations would replace paper checks with electronic payments if there was a cost benefit of doing so, while 88 percent cite increased efficiency as the primary reason for transitioning to electronic payments from paper checks. 

“The report findings reinforce what we hear every day from our clients—that check-based payments are costly and inefficient and automation is a critical to support business growth,” said Jessica Moran, General Manager of Cloud Payment Solutions at Bottomline Technologies. “Leveraging this credible benchmark data is extremely useful for finance professionals making the case for automation.”

“Treasury and finance departments are increasingly tasked with innovating and adapting to better serve their organizations, and moving from paper to electronic is one way to do so,” says Jim Kaitz, AFP President and Chief Executive Officer. “AFP looks forward to tracking how payment trends and the associated costs will evolve over time.” 

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) is the professional society that represents finance executives globally. AFP established and administers the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials, which set standards of excellence in finance. The quarterly AFP Corporate Cash Indicators serve as a bellwether of economic growth. The AFP Annual Conference is the largest networking event for corporate finance professionals in the world.

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