New Survey Reveals 51% of US Companies Doing a Lousy Job on Their Paper Check Reduction Diet

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To obtain a clear picture of current payment practices and trends in the US, AP Now’s 2016 Payment Survey explores the current use of paper checks, electronic (ACH) payments, wires, commercial cards, and petty cash as well as plans for the future. The results reveal a Great Divide between those successfully getting rid of paper checks and those who remain heavily entrenched in their use.

Unfortunately, the dream of a paperless office for accounts payable functions remains out of the grasp of most organizations—despite the fact that most currently have the functionality to make the move. Moreover, they have no one to blame but themselves. In AP Now’s just-released 2016 Payment Survey, over half the respondents indicated they are still making at least 75% of their B2B payments by paper check.

What’s more, it is only those who are currently making a low percentage of their B2B payments by paper check who are taking the most aggressive action to further reduce their dependence on paper checks. In fact, only 45% of heavy check users indicated they want to reduce the number of paper checks they issue. The rest appear satisfied with the status quo.

“This is unfortunate,” says AP Now’s Mary Schaeffer, the survey’s sponsor, “as paper checks are expensive, inefficient and create extra work on several levels.” However, there was some good news in the results. Specifically,

  • 83% of respondents’ organizations use ACH to varying degrees
  • 79% have issued commercial cards (purchasing cards) to employees for the purchase of goods and/or services

“I was encouraged by the number of organizations who are equipped with ACH and commercial card functionality,” says Recharged Education’s Lynn Larson, the lead analyst on the project, “but usage of these two electronic payment methods definitely has room for improvement. Checks retain a stronghold in too many organizations.”

US companies are poised to make the move away from paper payments; they have the functionality and the cost savings are clear. But will they? The million dollar question now is, will they make the move and if they don’t why not?

About AP Now’s 2016 Payment Survey
The purpose of AP Now’s 2016 Payment Survey was to determine what payment strategies companies are using to make their B2B payments today and what their plans are for the future. Respondents also shared tested strategies that have helped them successfully make the move away from paper.

About the AP Now, the Survey’s Sponsor
AP Now is a private, members-only, resource for those serious about accounts payable, procure-to-pay, payments and all related issues. Within the private, members-only area, you'll find a comprehensive source of in-depth information. You’ll receive the most current business intelligence impacting the accounts payable department without leaving your office. AP Now also creates live and online programs including the Accounts Payable & Payments Symposiums. For additional information about AP Now’s free and paid memberships go to

Reproduction is permitted provided the source is acknowledged. Contact marys(at)ap-now(dot)com or call 302.836.0540 for more in-depth information, to read the full 30-page report or to arrange an interview.

Media Contact
Mary Schaeffer
302 836 0540

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Mary Schaeffer
since: 04/2009
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