Suppliers to Real Estate Firms Say Digital Payments Will Dominate in 2021

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Suppliers are recognizing the many benefits of electronic payments - including faster access to funds - and plan to accept digital payments from more of their customers in 2021. (Source: Nexus)

Suppliers serving real estate plan to accept electronic payments from more of their customers in 2021
66 percent of responding suppliers expect to accept digital payments from more of their customers in 2021.

Surveys of more than 3000 suppliers – who serve the real estate market - showed a growing preference for electronic payments (virtual card or ACH) over paper methods. And, that preference is expected to expand further in 2021, according to data collected by Nexus, a leader in real estate accounts payable automation.

Conducted last month, the Nexus survey revealed that:

  • 45 percent of responding suppliers said they prefer electronic payments because they are faster and eliminate potentially costly mail float.
  • 54 percent said more of their real estate customers are offering electronic payments this year than in prior years.
  • 66 percent of responding suppliers expect to accept digital payments from more of their customers in 2021.

These results reflect a significant change in supplier attitudes toward receiving electronic payments, in lieu of paper checks.

In the past, many suppliers embraced electronic methods primarily to preserve the important supplier/customer relationship. In fact, a Nexus survey in 2019 suggested that 60 percent of suppliers accepted virtual card because of customer preference (virtual cards carry a credit card fee).

However, the recent survey data reveals that suppliers are also recognizing the many other intrinsic benefits of electronic payments, such as faster payment and the ability to better manage cash flow. E-payments bypass any mail or processing delays, while providing more security.

“Like many technologies that are helping people manage through the pandemic, use of digital payments grew quickly out of necessity, but are now becoming the norm,” said Nexus President Jennifer Coolidge.

Electronic payments, though, are just the tip of the iceberg. Suppliers to the real estate industry are also opting to submit their invoices through electronic portals, like NexusConnect, to make sure they are received promptly by their customers.

In an earlier survey conducted in August 2020, 73 percent of suppliers indicated they planned to increase their use of web-based portals to submit their invoices. More than half of the respondents cited concerns over postal delivery speed.

“Suppliers are realizing the value of faster payments and greater certainty about their invoicing. We believe they will continue to expand their use of these platforms well after COVID-19 is contained,” Coolidge said.

One in five of the world’s largest real estate companies use the Nexus AP automation platform to automate accounts payable and control their spend.

About Nexus

With Nexus Procure-to-Pay software, real estate companies can manage every aspect of the accounts payable process – from purchase to payments – with just a few clicks. The web-based platform automates manual AP tasks and provides complete visibility into suppliers, budgets, and spend. No more paper, wasted time, nor guesswork. Nexus makes it easy to maintain and expand the supplier relationships at the heart of the real estate business. Visit

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Patrick Foarde
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