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The 2017 Global Business and Spending Outlook, sponsored by American Express, has been published, and despite the current uncertain global economic and political climate there appears to be nothing for payments companies to be concerned about, with 99% of survey participants revealing that they plan to increase spending and investment over the next 12 months.
The survey interviewed 100 CFOs from leading companies, half of which exceed $1bn in annual revenue, giving a good indication that the people with financial influence in critical companies to the markets are prepared to continue leading the way with B2B spending.
Moderate spending and investment to support top line growth dominated spending and investment plans response at 86%, with a further 10% of those surveyed describing their spending plans as aggressive. This translated into 51% of companies projecting an increase in spending of 4-8%, 6% of respondents planning to increase spending by more than 20%, and 3% planning to increasing spending by more than 30%.
Remaining competitive and increasing competitive advantage were the main reasons given for increased spend.
Improving cash and working-capital management was also noted as being somewhat more important in the next 12 months, which should also come as welcome news to fintechs looking to develop technology in this area.
Specifically, end-to-end visibility in the transaction process was highlighted as an area where major corporations wish to improve their payments and spending procedure, with 98% of survey participants agreeing that this would yield substantial financial benefit.
Overall the report spells positive signs for the payments industry and fintech in general, with CFOs seemingly willing to both increase payments within the business and also being committed to improving aspects of the payments process through improved technology.
Of course projections can never be completely relied upon, and there is certainly scope for even greater uncertainty to rock the geo-economic climate in the coming weeks and months, but for the foreseeable future the future still looks bright for the B2B payments industry.