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4 key insights from our new Forrester Consulting thought leadership paper

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Last editedOct 20232 min. read

GoCardless recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the state of recurring payments across the globe. Forrester conducted an in-depth survey of 700 payment decision-makers in businesses with B2B revenue streams (either B2B-only or a combination of B2B and B2C). The survey included businesses from the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia; looking primarily at SaaS, financial services, business services and IT/technology industries. Every business in the survey has an annual revenue of over $100 million.

You can download the full paper here. But if you’re just after the key insights - the most important lessons you should take back to your own business - then read on. We’ve compiled four of the biggest takeaways from the paper, as well as how the data looks in Australia and New Zealand, specifically.

1. The current recurring payments landscape is convoluted, causing serious operational challenges

We live in a world where technological advancements drive businesses to change how they add value to their customers. And modern business is changing the way B2B and B2C payments are made. But, as more merchants change their business models, sell in more countries, and accept more payment methods, the payment landscape has become convoluted.

For organisations in Australia and New Zealand, 62% of business see the manual reconciliation process as the biggest challenge with recurring payments.

It’s, therefore, no surprise that many firms have large teams to manage complex payment operations. 77% have more than 20 full-time employees (FTEs) to handle recurring payments.

2. Slow payment intake is a particularly tricky challenge for many businesses

Over half of ANZ payments decision-makers (55%) reported an increase in time taken to receive payments over the last 12 months. A similar number (52%) reported an average day sales outstanding (DSO) of over 30 days.

Decision-makers cited navigating banking procedures outside of ANZ as the leading cause of DSO with reducing DSO a high or critical priority for 74% of decision-makers over the next year.

3. Businesses typically have high failure rates, affecting the bottom line (while also increasing churn and bad debt)

One standout finding from the Forrester shows that half of all businesses have a failure rate of higher than 7%. 

This is roughly in line with our own Payment Success Index, which found businesses primarily collecting using credit cards have failure rates of 7.9%. On the other hand, GoCardless payments (powered by bank debit), have average failure rates of just 2.9%.

The results not only prove how widespread the problem is but also the knock-on effects that high failure rates can have on a business’ overall success. For example

  • On average, businesses with B2C revenue see 11%-15% of their failed payments turn into bad debt (in the UK, the figure is 16-20%)

  • On average, B2B businesses also see 11%-15% of their failed payments turn into bad debt

  • On average, Failed payments result in churn 11%-15% of the time

  • On average, B2B businesses spend 16%-20% of the payment value to recover the payment.

  • On average, Businesses that are a mix of B2B and B2C spend 11-15% of the payment value to recover the payment

In short, failed payments can quickly become a drain on the bottom line if not kept under control.

4. Businesses recognise the importance of recurring payment solutions when optimising their payment strategies.

Businesses are finally starting to realise that payments need to be treated as a strategic imperative, rather than a cost centre. In fact, nearly 47% of firms are planning to invest in or expand/upgrade investment in recurring payment providers.

By adopting upgraded recurring payment solutions, organisations are aiming to drive growth and deliver excellent customer service. This means these same organisations expect several benefits from their investment, including:

  • Improved customer retention (52%)

  • Reduced payment failures (49%)

  • Reduced churn (40%)

  • Reduction in DSO (38%)

  • Less time chasing unpaid invoices (37%)

Get full report here

Could GoCardless be your new recurring payments partner? If you’d like to discuss your recurring payment challenges in greater detail, have a 15-minute chat with one of the team to see where GoCardless can help.