Connect with us

Finance

What does Apple’s move into the ‘buy-now-pay-later’ space mean for the future of the payments industry?

Published

on

By Mike Rhodes, founder of ConsultMyApp

 

Following its acquisitions of UK-based credit-checking start-up Credit Kudos earlier this year, Apple has accelerated its ambitions within the mobile payments industry through the announcement of its move into the ‘buy-now-pay-later’ (BNPL) space.

Unveiled at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference last month, the move will allow iPhone owners to stagger payments over a 6-week period.

This is set to shake up the previously unsaturated market, but what does the move really mean for the payments industry?

Market impact

Without a doubt, the BNPL market has exploded in recent years, with British fintech apps such as Revolut and Klarna joining the ranks. However, Apple entering the BNPL market through its iOS16 update (initially in the US) has raised the competitive threat.

This new offering from one of the world’s largest Big Tech companies is almost certainly going to take away large swaths of business from established market players. Apps such as Klarna require support from retailers to operate, whereas Apple’s BNPL offering is set to be accepted wherever Apple Pay currently is – including online, in-store and on apps. Consumers are therefore more likely to flock to this offering out of simple ease, so this move can almost be seen as an abuse of Apple’s monopolistic position in the phone market.

In fact, Klarna have already started to lay off staff and shares in the US BNPL company Affirm have dropped by around 19% since Apple made the announcement, demonstrating the rapid ripple effects of this move.

Mike Rhodes

Increased regulatory interest

To date, the BNPL space has been characterized by a lack of regulation. However, as concerns have grown around the amount of debt consumers can accumulate, the narrative is rapidly shifting and, with new players entering the space, it is already starting to get increased regulatory interest.

In fact, the UK Government has already announced that it will be working to tighten rules around BNPL services, especially to make sure short-term credit is being offered in a responsible way as the cost of living crisis accelerates. It is therefore more than likely that other Governments will issue new rules for providers and regulate the industry in a much tougher way than it is now.

For Apple, this won’t be a big concern as it is not part of their core business offering. However, for the likes of Klarna, it most certainly will as it is their entire business offering.

Super App ambitions?

This latest move from Apple has also revoked speculation around its super app ambitions.

Given WeChat and Alipay’s market grip in China, it is no wonder that the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google may be exploring this path as well. At the end of the day, the opportunity for a super app is to continuously engage in new ways with consumers that are already part of its ecosystem by providing seamless connectivity between everyday activities.

With its market domination with the AppStore and Apple pay, and its communication offerings through iMessage and FaceTime, some could consider it is already on the way. Now, it’s venture into the BNPL space could be seen as a way to enhance these ambitions by supporting payments for goods and services within a super app ecosystem.

However, I have always believed that the concept of a super app is somewhat misguided as no one brand or company can be expected to be an expert in all areas. For Apple to truly compete in this space, it would have to consider how it can adapt its business model to encompass aspects such as social media, transport and retail deliveries as well. The reality of this is still a far flung concept that could only be achieved through acquisition rather than organic offerings.

Looking ahead

At the end of the day, the way consumers want to pay for purchases is changing. Whether that’s been driven through a surge in online shopping during the pandemic or as part of the increased digitization of society, it is plain to see that there is now a demand for greater flexibility and to be able to stagger payments by more manageable amounts.

With the UK BNPL market estimated to be worth £5.7bn last year (more than double the 2020 value), this growth is only set to accelerate further. Therefore, whilst Apple’s move into the sector can be seen as an abuse of its monopolistic position, it is not unsurprising, and we would be amiss to assume other Big Tech companies won’t follow suit.

Now only time will tell whether established FinTechs can withstand increased regulation and if new market players can find a competitive edge within the mobile payments industry.

Business

Accounting Automation in the Future

Published

on

Accounting automation is the process of streamlining repetitive tasks in financial processes. For example, some processes like invoicing are time-consuming and repetitive. Automation can reduce manual labor and save businesses both time and money. Also, it helps improve accuracy, reduces errors, and provides more accurate financial reporting.

Accounting automation in the future will be increasingly important for businesses to stay competitive. But every new change comes with both advantages and challenges. Let’s dive in to get ready for this future trend.

 

Potential Future Benefits of Accounting Automation

Increased Efficiency and Cost Savings

Accounting automation is a great way to increase efficiency and cost savings. For example, AI bookkeeping uses advanced algorithms to automate many accounting tasks. So, companies can track expenses, prepare financial reports, and more using AI.

It reduces the time needed for manual entry. So, businesses can spend fewer labor hours on tedious processes. They can increase efficiency by freeing up resources for more strategic work. It also helps reduce errors and inconsistencies associated with manual processes. So, the cost of compliance is lower because of greater accuracy.

 

Improved Accuracy and Reliability

Accounting automation can improve accuracy and reliability in accounting processes. For example, Automating bank reconciliation is less prone to errors from human mistakes or miscalculations. You can automate the process to identify discrepancies between the bank statement and accounting records. It helps to ensure that financial reports remain accurate and reliable. So businesses can take corrective action faster than processing data manually.

 

Streamlined Business Processes

Streamlined business processes involve eliminating unnecessary steps, reducing paperwork, and automating repetitive tasks. This allows businesses to focus on higher-value activities, such as developing new products, improving customer service, and developing strategic plans for the future.

 

Making a Better Decision

Accounting automation can enhance decision-making in 3 ways.

1. It enables businesses to access real-time information from multiple systems. So they can identify trends for better decision-making.
2. Automated accounting also helps with forecasting, budgeting, and auditing tasks. It enables businesses to be more proactive in their decision-making processes.
3. Also, automated accounting tools can integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. They can manage data across the enterprise and make concise decisions that are favorable to the company as a whole.

 

Increase Customer Satisfaction

Accounting automation can help businesses increase customer satisfaction by streamlining their processes and providing a more efficient customer experience. For example:
4. Automated accounting systems can automate tedious manual tasks such as invoicing, data entry, and payroll processing. This allows businesses to focus on other aspects of their operations that are more important for customer service.
5. Automated accounting systems can also provide customers with more accurate and timely financial information. The information can help them make better decisions about their finances.
6. Also, accounting automation enables businesses to respond quickly to customer inquiries. It helps reduce wait times and improve the overall customer experience. So, you can build better relationships with their customers.

 

Improved Accessibility

Accounting automation takes place online or comes with cloud-based solutions. So, you can access your information and do your job from anywhere instead of being confined to one spot.

 

Challenges to Implementing Accounting Automation in the Future

Cost of Technology Infrastructure Upgrades

Automating an accounting system often requires businesses to invest in new hardware and software, such as servers and other associated equipment. These upgrades come with a hefty price tag that may be difficult for small businesses to afford.

There are also extra costs, such as installation fees, setup charges, software licensing fees, cloud storage costs, and maintenance fees.

 

Training Requirements for Staff Members

Accounting automation involves using advanced technology to automate certain processes. So, it creates a need for trained staff members who can handle the new technology. Training requirements vary depending on the type of software used.

Some common training includes record-keeping procedures, software applications, and troubleshooting skills.

 

Regulatory Compliance Issues

Accounting automation can be a time-saver, but it also requires firms to be aware of the applicable rules and regulations. Companies must ensure that their automated systems are compliant with relevant laws and regulations such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and other applicable accounting standards.

Besides, they must also comply with legal requirements related to taxes, financial statements, and other reporting obligations.

So, businesses must consider the complexities of regulatory compliance when automating accounting.

 

Security and Data Protection Concerns

As businesses move their accounting processes to the cloud, they are exposed to a wide range of potential security risks. Data breaches can cause significant damage to the business’s financial and reputational integrity. Besides, the complexity of automated accounting systems can make it difficult to identify and detect suspicious activities or errors in the system.

To ensure data is kept secure, businesses must have strong measures in place to protect against unauthorized access, encryption, and regular backups of data.

Furthermore, companies must train their staff on the proper use of the system. It helps staff to know how to protect confidential information from being accessed or misused by unauthorized personnel.

Businesses may also need an experienced IT team to monitor and maintain the system to keep up with any changes or updates for optimal performance.

 

Final thoughts

Accounting automation has come a long way in the past few decades. It is likely to continue to advance in the future. As technology continues to evolve, more businesses will likely begin taking advantage of automation in their accounting processes. So, businesses should be aware of the potential challenges and prepare to stay competitive.

Continue Reading

Finance

Weathering the economic storm in 2023

Published

on

By

Nikki Dawson, Head of EMEA Marketing at Highspot

 

New year, new business challenges. When it comes to creating and converting leads into sales for a business, both the marketing and sales teams are critical. Both functions think differently but are equally important in driving growth and revenue. Now more than ever in the current economic climate alignment between the two to achieve business goals is vital to survival.

Entering 2023 it’s important we look back and pinpoint where there’s room for improvement within our business and between our teams. With this, I predict the majority of businesses will realise it’s now critical to get their teams to communicate, collaborate and align more effectively.

What we learned in 2022

Findings from a recent survey of sales and marketing professionals found that over half (52%) of sales and marketing leaders in the UK agree they don’t understand which marketing assets are driving results with potential prospects. For marketers, this lack of visibility over assets limited the amount of valuable oversight which would allow them to improve content and increase adoption.

As a result, we’re now left with over a quarter (29%) of marketers not feeling confident in their ability to demonstrate the ROI achieved by marketing initiatives. Due to this, 30% of those surveyed this year feel a lack of confidence in creating marketing assets that have demonstrable success at meeting specific business objectives and driving sales growth.

Equipping teams with the right tools and technology they need to achieve business objectives seems obvious, but the latest research reveals that over a third (34%) of marketers aren’t confident they have the tools they need to manage and maximise digital marketing initiatives. Furthermore, 30% of UK marketers believe that a lack of efficient technology and tools and inconsistent use of CRM (31%) are barriers to their company’s sales and marketing collaboration.

These are all crucial learnings for what marketers have identified as key barriers in their role, it’s now down to business leaders to listen and take action.

How was revenue impacted?

The lack of alignment between marketing and sales, and the limited visibility over how digital marketing initiatives performed in 2022 had a negative impact on businesses’ ROI. This, as well as not having a single source of truth for marketers and salespeople led to content chaos and became a pain point for both parties wanting to do their jobs effectively.

For business leaders, during a time when demonstrating and justifying marketing and sales spending is needed now more than ever, the gap between marketing content, salespeople and ROI is of great concern.

The year ahead

Misalignment between sales and marketing means, at best, energy and resources are being wasted. At worst, it leads to strategies directly contradicting each other and not being delivered, while team members get frustrated and potentially leave.

Sales enablement has proven that it can dramatically resolve these pain points and be the foundation for alignment. With 72% of both teams equally agreeing that implementing sales enablement to support sales and marketing is something they believe their company should consider in the near future. It’s safe to say that in 2023 may well be the year we see it come into the mainstream.

By design, sales enablement software bridges the gap to provide a platform for alignment, offering one source of truth for linking sales and marketing activity to revenue. This year, the research found that the vast majority, (71%) of sales and marketing professionals agree that a lack of alignment between their teams has had a negative impact on revenue, and 52% of sales and marketing leaders in the UK agree they don’t understand which assets are driving results with potential prospects.

It’s clear that the need for aligned business functions has never been greater and soon, marketers and salespeople will call for AI-powered sales enablement as an essential tool to do their job effectively.

Now is the time…

If businesses want to optimise their work and maximise profits in the turbulent economic climate, they need to focus on driving change from the front by aligning their sales and marketing teams. Smart investment decisions that adapt processes based on buyer engagement with marketing content, and seller activities will be crucial in the coming months.

Having a sales enablement process in place can provide the necessary framework to begin coherently organising, finding, sharing, customising, and analysing content. Sales enablement platforms can be a one-stop shop for sales processes and marketing insights and it’s no longer something that can be overlooked by businesses.

Final thoughts

The need for optimisation has never been greater. In order to maximise profits sales and marketing functions need to work together seamlessly. This year we can expect to see more businesses utilising sales enablement technology to achieve key milestones. With this, marketers and salespeople alike will recognise sales enablement as a crucial day to day tool that is just as essential as the CRM they’re using today.

Continue Reading

Magazine

Trending

Business18 hours ago

Accounting Automation in the Future

Accounting automation is the process of streamlining repetitive tasks in financial processes. For example, some processes like invoicing are time-consuming...

Banking2 days ago

How banks can help customers during the cost of living crisis

 Lavanya Kaul Head of BFSI, UK & Ireland, LTI Mindtree   Surging energy and food prices are significantly driving up...

Finance2 days ago

Weathering the economic storm in 2023

Nikki Dawson, Head of EMEA Marketing at Highspot   New year, new business challenges. When it comes to creating and...

Business3 days ago

Three ways data can help financial organisations thrive in today’s economy

By Rinesh Patel, Global Head of Financial Services, Snowflake   Financial organisations are caught in the middle of an ever-evolving...

Finance3 days ago

What is the right strategy for the end of money?

By John Barber, VP & Head of Europe at Infosys Finacle More than five thousand years ago, humans replaced barter...

Business3 days ago

2023 – what will happen in the payment world?

Tommaso Jacopo Ulissi, Head of Group Strategy, Nexi Group 2022 was a year of transition for consumers, as BNPL (Buy...

Business3 days ago

2023 crypto trends that businesses need to know about

By Marcus de Maria, Founder and Chairman of Investment Mastery   As cryptocurrencies have started to enjoy wider global acceptance...

Business3 days ago

Defining Fraud in 2023

Scott Buchanan, Chief Marketing Officer at Forter Fraudsters are fluid — they constantly experiment with new tactics to find cracks in...

Business4 days ago

How accounting software may hold the key to keeping on top of credit control

By Paul Sparkes, Commercial Director of award-winning accounting software developer, iplicit.   One of the first rules everyone learns about...

Banking4 days ago

Coreless Banking: How banks can thrive in 2023

Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director of BIAN   In recent years, banks have faced immense disruption and struggled to transform with...

Technology4 days ago

Will cyberattacks be uninsurable in 2023? Three steps that financial organisations can follow now

By James Blake, Field CISO of EMEA, Cohesity   The growing number of cyber attacks and subsequent damage has led...

Business1 week ago

Why Financial Services Institutions must de-risk the customer journey in 2023

By Perry Gale, VP EMEA at Cyara   From rising interest rates, to the cost-of-living crisis and the ongoing recession,...

Business1 week ago

Why finance needs a technological leap in fraud prevention

Brett Beranek, VP & General Manager, Security and Biometrics at Nuance Communications   Banking fraud is always a punishing experience for...

Banking1 week ago

How Banks Should be Future-Proofing Themselves  

By John da Gama-Rose, Head of BFS, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant  Businesses across the world are facing a combination of...

Business1 week ago

The Promise of AI in Financial Services in 2023

By Kevin Levitt, Global Industry Business Development, Financial Services, NVIDIA   As we enter the new year, many are left...

Banking1 week ago

What to expect from banking and payments in 2023

Michael Mueller, CEO, Form3   The banking industry went through a number of significant challenges in 2022. The steep increase...

Business1 week ago

The big cash squeeze: will fortune favour the bold?

With a new political landscape, rising inflation, a cost-of-living crisis and increasing pressure from HMRC for payments, many businesses are...

Business1 week ago

How scaling agility can help mortgage lenders thrive in a tough economy

By Angus Panton, Director of Banking and Financial Services at Expleo   During periods of economic uncertainty, speed and agility...

Financial Services Is Stepping Into A New Era Financial Services Is Stepping Into A New Era
Business1 week ago

Embracing eCommerce: what retailers will face in 2023 

by T.R Newcomb, VP, Strategy and Corporate Development, Riskified     2022 has been a tumultuous year, with rising interest rates,...

Business1 week ago

Five steps for getting compliance right

 Troy Fine, Director, Risk and Compliance, Drata   With the accelerating pace of regulatory change and operational resilience policies, organisations...

Trending