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Putting your money where your phone is


Once upon a time, parents everywhere were continuously besieged with requests from their penniless progeny.  "Mom! Dad! Can I have some cash for the movies please?" rang out in households. Today, it’s increasingly, "Mom! Dad! I'm heading out to the movies, I'll pay with my smartphone, thanks!" The days of paying with cash and credit cards are being replaced by the quick check for a smartphone before heading out the door.


Technology continues to remove the friction from everyday tasks, making life simpler, easier, and generally more enjoyable. Digital payments are one of the innovations that have improved the experience of shopping. Take, for example, your daily latte at Starbucks. Now, instead of taking out a credit card, or searching frantically for your Starbucks reward card, all you have to do is take out your smartphone. With a simple tap of the screen, you can choose to purchase your latte with Apple pay or via the Starbucks App.


There are numerous mobile payment apps that make it easier to quite literally, "click to pay." From the original trailblazer PayPal to the current trendsetter Venmo to the tech giants Apple or Google Pay, payment apps are becoming commonplace.


As the pace of daily life accelerates and as distractions multiply, thanks to texts, social media, apps and more, it makes sense to integrate payment functions into the same device you use for nearly everything else. In addition to being an email and text device, navigational tool, calendar, address book, camera, and countless other helpful tools, why shouldn’t your phone also be your wallet?


Digital transformation has allowed Buyers and Suppliers to do business faster, more inexpensively and efficiently than ever before. Without the inefficiency of paper to impede its progress, working capital flows freely through today’s supply chains at faster speeds and with fewer delays. The quicker pace of supply chain transactions mirrors the quicker checkout process now available to consumers who, while they may enjoy lingering over the purchase consideration and decision, nevertheless want to make the payment itself as quickly as possible once they’ve committed to the purchase. Everywhere, it seems, friction is being removed, leading to faster transactions and fewer bumps in the road.


Where automated features like Tungsten Network Workflow have streamlined the process of invoice processing for AP departments, mobile payment apps have, literally, streamlined the wallets of consumers by eliminating the need for payment cards. And while e-invoicing platforms are helping Buyers and Suppliers eliminate time-wasting invoice exceptions and supplier inquiries, mobile payment apps are permitting consumers to avoid the hassle of slow and overcrowded checkout lines, getting from purchase decision to purchase payment faster in record time.


With funds moving at a faster clip than ever from consumer to Buyer to Supplier, the phrase “making a quick buck” may never have been more relevant. The benefits of today’s faster paced P2P are numerous, but will only go to those who have made the right investments in technology. Businesses that are still stuck in manual processes would do well to get started sooner, rather than later, or risk being left behind.

About the author

Connie O'Brien

As CMO, Connie is responsible for the Tungsten Network brand and ensuring the firm is at the forefront of the digital transformation of the purchase-to-pay process, with a focus on how we delight our customers through automated, scalable, dynamic and personalised experiences. Connie joined Tungsten from Affinion Group, an international membership and loyalty company where she was Chief Digital Officer. She has over twenty years’ experience driving digital marketing strategies for businesses, and has delivered campaigns for brands including GlaxoSmithKline, P&G, Kraft Foods, AXA, John Hancock, AT&T, Vonage and Verizon.

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