WEX Survey Highlights Importance of Payments Security to Senior Finance Executives

More than half of US CFOs and senior finance executives (53%) and almost half of the European executives (49%) ‘strongly agree’ that they are very concerned about information security relating to payments. That is according to part two of the results from WEX’s annual Payments Pulse study. In stark contrast, 26% of the Asian executives surveyed answered that they ‘strongly agree’. Despite this, between 58% and 68% of respondents from all regions rated security of transactions as the most important attribute of a payments solution.

The survey also found that CFOs value security enhancements and speed. Executives in all regions anticipate that new technology will impact their business when it comes to security: namely, more secure payments (62%) and faster and more secure cross-border payments (57%).

Information security and payments fraud are top of mind. In the US, the concern about information security (52% ‘strongly agree’ that they are very concerned) is aligned with the incidence of payments fraud or misuse – 52% have experienced one or the other in the past six months. In Asia, just 26% of the executives we questioned express the same level of concern – which makes senses, since only 24% have experienced fraud or misuse in the same time period.

Financial services executives have high expectations of payments providers when it comes to security. Across the board, there is agreement that security of transactions is the most important attribute of payments for their business, with 62% ranking it ‘very important’. When selecting a payments provider, the Asia/Oceania executives surveyed strongly valued security of a provider’s systems and transactions (though it was second to cost/fee structure in impacting their choices).

The cloud is now, and CFOs think blockchain may be the future. Almost all of those surveyed – 92% – indicate that their business is currently using cloud-based payments platforms. A full 84% trust cloud-based systems more than locally hosted ERP/AP systems to keep account payables secure. Surveyed executives are very optimistic regarding the effect of blockchain on their own businesses, expecting the technology to pave the way for more-secure payments.