The benefits of paying suppliers electronically, particularly with an e-payables card program, are familiar to most financial executives. Less well known is how to be successful and efficient in converting suppliers to accepting that form of payment.

Typically the principal obstacle for companies is the lack of dedicated staff to make it happen. Vendor relationship and accounts payable managers have a myriad of duties, and e-payables conversion can sometimes slide down the priority list after a few sporadic efforts to win suppliers over to accepting payment by card.

In addition, although suppliers can accrue multiple benefits by accepting payment by card, unless those advantages are conveyed to them in a compelling way, inertia tends to get in the way. The result: Costly and less secure paper check-based payment systems remain in place.

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