Suppliers and ePayables Acceptance: Latest Findings

By Dennis Bouley

July 05, 2018 at 8:45 PM

Digital Transformation resized.jpgAccording to a recent NAPCP and Accenture survey, supplier acceptance of card payments has increased since 2009 across spend categories, with significant growth since 2013 in major categories, such as professional services and utilities.

“Over half of end-users have adopted ePayables to move beyond checks, enhance accounts payable automation, and drive operational excellence and per-transaction savings,” said Frank Martien, a managing director in Accenture’s Payments practice. “These end-users are now achieving ePayables acceptance by more than half of their U.S.-based suppliers. Helping suppliers automate payment application to open invoices and lower cost of acceptance is key to further growth in ePayables,” he said.

ePayables come in several forms, on of which is through usage of a P-Card. These P-Cards act as a company charge card that allows goods and services to be procured without using a traditional purchasing process. Issuers work directly with end-users to implement and grow programs, issue cards and invoice posted P‑Card transactions. The issuer uses the services of the networks and processors to facilitate card issuance, authorize transactions and provide data. Transaction data is captured by a supplier’s point-of-sale (POS) system and transmitted through the card network. The level of transmitted data depends on the supplier’s process and technology systems.

The card issuer typically provides a single electronic invoice to the end-user organization—at a minimum of once per month—reflecting all cardholders and their respective P-Card transaction totals plus a grand total. An organization does not carry a balance, instead paying its card issuer in full (at a minimum of one payment per month) for all cardholders’ transactions. The organization processes the invoice, creating accounting entries and facilitating payment to the card issuer.

Highlights of the 2017 NAPCP and Accenture survey findings include the following:

  • Suppliers tend to accept cards for office supplies, food service and computers, and these categories increased an average of 3 percent since 2013, and 10 percent since 2009.
  • 84 percent of suppliers who take P-Cards for transactions under $10,000 have been educated by end-users, compared to 51 percent who have not received instruction on benefits.
  • 68 percent reported that suppliers’ resistance to (or non-acceptance of) P-Card payments is a challenge/ impediment, which is down from 78 percent in 2013 and 88 percent in 2009.
  • 60 percent cited “Fees too high,” as the most common reason suppliers resisted in 2017; down from 67 percent in 2013 and 71 percent in 2009.
  • Almost 60 percent of respondents have an ePayables program, up from 40 percent in 2013.
  • In Canada and Africa, P-Card acceptance rates improved slightly since 2013. In the US and Europe, P-Card acceptance rates remained consistent. In Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East regions, acceptance rates were reduced.

The report found that although many suppliers accept cards, the continued prevalence of non-accepting suppliers serves as a challenging barrier to P-Card and ePayables program growth for many end-user organizations. Nevertheless, end-users have had success in converting non-accepting suppliers. Above all, for continued growth of ePayables, buyers must want to use cards and suppliers must want to accept cards for payment. In the simplest form, both sides need to realize value; it cannot be a one-sided value proposition.

To access the complete NAPCP and Accenture report and executive summary, access the following web site:

Tags: procurement payables procurement payments supplier P-Cards
Category: News Article

Dennis Bouley


Dennis Bouley is Editorial Director of and special advisor to MediaSolve Group, a strategic B2B marketing services firm focused on helping companies and institutions leverage the web and social media to achieve business goals. He spent 18 years at Schneider Electric as Managing Editor of Global Publications, and was responsible for cross-division management of the corporation’s white paper and customer success story processes. Prior to that, he spent 10 years working for IBM managing both small and large accounts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island and holds a Certificat Annuel from the Sorbonne in Paris, France. 

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