If you’re a business owner, you know how important it is to stay on top of the latest innovations to remain competitive. A new year – and the start of a new decade! – is right around the corner, and it has many opportunities in store for your business. Here are four trends you should keep your eye on in 2020:

1. Fraud mitigation and cybersecurity

At the top of the list of trends to watch for is elevated efforts to reduce payments fraud. According to the Association for Financial Professionals’ 2019 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey Report, 82 percent of companies were targets of payments fraud this year. This demonstrates a crucial need for additional security protocols in the coming year.

Important to note in these findings is that while check fraud has historically been the most popular form of payments fraud, it is declining and being replaced by fraud via wire transfers and ACH debits and credits. While technology advancements have allowed for faster and easier electronic payments, they have also led to more sophisticated scam tactics requiring businesses to be more vigilant than ever before.

Keep in mind, fraud comes in many different forms, including business email compromise, a type of fraud that involves scammers impersonating company executives and requesting wire transfers over email. In just the last four years, organizations falling victim to business email compromise has increased from 64 percent to 80 percent, and it will continue to rise if organizations don’t make efforts to educate employees to spot and report the scams.

2. Improvements to cross-border payments

Along with real-time payments still being the center of attention in 2020, improvements to cross-border payments will also be the focus in the coming year.

With developments such as the adoption efforts of ISO 20022, a universal messaging standard that allows for greater interoperability between payment systems, cross-border payments are set to become faster and more seamless.

Such improvements will make cross-border payments more efficient for even small- and mid-sized businesses and retailers, not just large corporations, leading to an increasingly global and interconnected economy.

3. Emerging technologies

Emerging technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will enable businesses to go beyond current boundaries of cash management and overcome certain constraints. New technologies, as well as the evolution of existing technological trends, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven by machine learning, will also play a huge role in fraud mitigation, as they will expand visibility and controls enabling us to better understand and manage risk.

RPA is an appealing new tool for businesses because it will save them time and resources in the long run; it mimics human actions so that repetitive processes typically done manually by employees can be done through automation, freeing up employees’ time to focus on more strategic work.

4. ‘Big data’ and data analytics

Aptly called ‘big data,’ it’s the substantial amount of insight collected by organizations on their audiences, and it plays a crucial role in revealing patterns, trends, and hidden consumer traits. Analyzing this information and understanding how it influences your business’s next steps is key to making your business more efficient and profitable.

In recent years, a big initiative for businesses was the collection of data – how to obtain and organize consumer data. Now and in the coming year, the focus is determining the best use of these insights – making data-driven decisions while improving customer experience.

While data analysis alone is not a solution to all your business constraints, it’s proven to greatly increase efficiency, improve customer experience, and help businesses forecast new opportunities. It will certainly continue to generate attention in 2020!

Are there trends you’re watching that we haven’t covered here? Drop us a comment!

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