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97% of European companies experience problems with their current payment systems, new Numeral research shows

Matthieu Blandineau
June 2023
min read

Paris, June 27th, 2023 – Numeral, the leading bank orchestration platform, published new research conducted in partnership with research company OpinionWay, showing that 97% of European finance executives experience pain points in their companies’ payment operations. As companies grow, decision-makers encounter challenges, including ensuring that payments initiated are correctly executed, managing payment errors, and managing payment returns.

As a result, 90% of decision-makers share that their company plans to invest in upgrading their payment operations in the next 18 months, with 55% of companies planning to invest €100,000 or more, this number going up to 88% for decision-makers describing their payment operations as primarily manual. 18% of them plan to invest more than €1,000,000.

Finance and treasury executives have significant hopes for these investments, with 88% expecting to capture very or extremely important benefits from improving their payment operations.

Exploring the causes of shared pain points, the research shows that payment operations are fragmented from both an organisational and infrastructure standpoint. On average, companies surveyed partner with 3 or more different banks for their payment operations. This number grows to 4 banks or more for companies managing more than 10 million payments per year.

“Many reasons push companies to work with multiple partner banks. There is, of course, the case of building redundancy in your ability to send and receive payments and splitting your deposits between different partners to mitigate bank failure risks. But companies also add partner banks to expand internationally, access new payment rails and methods, and negotiate better commercial terms. No matter the reason, operating multi-bank treasury and payment operations is complex and can lead to growing challenges,” says Édouard Mandon, co-founder and CEO of Numeral.

On average, companies surveyed shared that 3.1 teams are involved in payment operations, use 3 payment methods to send payments, 3.4 payment methods to receive payments, and 3.5 systems to manage payment operations.

The more payments companies manage, the more teams are involved, with 2.8 teams on average for companies managing less than 100,000 operations per year and 4 teams on average for companies managing more than 100 million operations annually.

In addition, the more payments companies manage, the more payments become an IT topic, with involvement from engineering teams growing from 9% for companies managing less than 100,000 payments per year to 43% for companies managing more than 100 million payments per year.

“When the volume of payments grows, manual or semi-automated systems fall short. They introduce too many manual errors that are harder to identify and fix as volumes grow, require more resources for low added-value tasks, and make straight-through processing, instant payments, or timely reconciliation impossible. As few solutions enabling end-to-end automation are available on the market, companies turn to their product and engineering teams to bridge the gap. Which might, in turn, deviate these resources for technical projects more core to companies’ businesses,” adds Édouard Mandon.

Payment operations remain very manual, with 68% of respondents estimating that more than 25% of tasks are left to manual handling. These numbers are interesting when putting in perspective the systems companies use to manage their payment operations, with 51% of respondents declaring they use their bank’s online banking platform to manage payment operations and 29% still use spreadsheets.

Challenges faced by companies in their payment operations lead to significant pain points, with decision makers declaring they lead their companies to face increased financial risk (30%), slow accounting reporting (28%), lack of real-time insight into their balances across accounts (28%), or manual errors (27%).

By upgrading their payment operations systems, 88% of financial executives expect very or extremely important improvements. By automating their payment operations, respondents expect faster payment reconciliations and closing of the month (37%), better customer experience (35%), and reduced payment errors (34%).

However, to achieve these results, companies will need to overcome barriers to change, such as difficulty in implementing new systems for 43% of respondents, company leadership prioritising other investments (40%), or concerns over changing core processes (39%)

Finance leaders surveyed see a significant opportunity to improve payment systems and invest over the next 18 months, particularly in companies with large payment volumes.

The expected benefits of doing so are faster payment operations, including reconciliations, improved customer experience, and reduced money movement errors. In the process, decision makers expect challenges to overcome to secure and deploy these investments in payment operations, including the difficulty of integrating new systems with the existing payment infrastructure, the lack of education of key companies executives on the matter, and continuity challenges for the teams managing these payment operations every day.

“Numeral helps companies modernise their payment systems by bringing together product, IT and finance teams. Thanks to its pre-built bank integrations, made available via a flexible API or file connectivity, Numeral makes adding new banks, payment methods, and workflows to existing payment systems easy. With automated reconciliations, advanced user controls and approvals, and a modern dashboard, Numeral gives finance teams total control and visibility over their payment operations and all their bank accounts,” added Édouard Mandon.

Click on the link to read The State of European Payment Operations.

Survey methodology

This report was conducted in partnership with OpinionWay. The audience was companies with 250 to 5,000 employees in Germany, France and the UK. 905 decision makers, including titles such as CFOs, SVPs, VPs of accounting, controllers, payment managers and other decision makers on corporate accounting and finance teams, were interviewed online during December 2022 and January 2023.

About Numeral

Numeral is the bank orchestration platform designed for fintechs, financial institutions and corporations building advanced payment flows on top of their banking partners.

Through a single API and central dashboard, our platform empowers product and finance teams with seamless bank integrations, faster payments, real-time data visibility on accounts and payments as well as efficient workflows.

Numeral provides the payment infrastructure for European fintech trail blazers like Swile, Spendesk, Alma, and Xpollens and has a growing European client base. Numeral also partners with Europe’s leading banks, including Barclays, HSBC, Groupe BPCE, BNP Paribas, and ABN AMRO. Launched in 2021, Numeral has raised €13m from world-class investors including Balderton and eFounders.


Matthieu Blandineau, Product Marketing,

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