Thomas Priore on Overcoming Barriers to Digital Payments Technology Adoption

Thomas Priore, a renowned expert in the financial technology sector, believes that modern commerce calls for modern tools. He understands how consumers already rely on digital options to make most of their purchases. Paper money, checks, and other old-school banking practices have been left in the dust by faster digital methods that enhance the payments process. Yet, despite these advances, he is aware that many businesses remain in the dark, having yet to adopt new payments technologies to streamline their financial operations.

According to Thomas Priore, Chairman and CEO of Priority, businesses can face several barriers that make it challenging to adopt new payments technologies, including cost, time, and fear. But Priore says when it comes to implementing payments technology into existing systems, it is also a matter of changing business behaviors and explaining the rewards and benefits of taking the risk. “There is already more consumer acceptance to make digital transactions, which has changed how businesses interact with their customers. We know businesses today want to get their money faster, and the technology to facilitate that is getting better and better. We help companies see their new potential and how the benefits outweigh the risk when transitioning to Priority’s payments and banking solutions,” states Priore.

At the helm of Priority, Thomas Priore is uniquely qualified as CEO because he understands the evolving digital payments landscape. His insights on embedded finance and unified commerce have made the company one of the driving forces in the payments industry.

Priority’s solutions like Passport, a unified commerce platform, are an intersection of payments solutions and banking services all in one place. Through the platform, SMB, B2B, and Enterprise businesses in various industries can collect, store, and send money through their Passport account. Priority is known for enabling businesses of all sizes to embrace a variety of payment methods, maximizing their operational efficiency, and offering open API integrations that allow systems to work together and best meet customers’ needs. Priore says, “Priority’s solutions help our customers by providing more services than they would find in traditional banking relationships. We improve their bottom line and add value through accelerated cash flow, providing revenue-generating cash back and financial incentives, access to reporting and analytics, and strengthened customer, supplier, and employee experiences.”

Breaking Down the ‘Business as Usual’ Barrier

An old adage popularized by those in management-type roles is: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So, what’s the trouble with that? A lot of financial decision-makers are so entrenched in not rocking the boat or the thought of potentially making matters worse. Even if “it is broken,” they still don’t fix it because of the perceived challenges and risks when it comes to adopting new technology, notes Priore.

Priore says, “It’s just the human element of not wanting to change. And what drives that? Sometimes it could be fear of adopting new technology because it could be seen as a potential threat to their jobs or a hesitance to change because of the unknown impacts on an existing process. The reality is that technologies like AP automation help offload mundane tasks from workers, freeing up their time and talents to focus on more important work.”

One thing he’s learned from years of experience is when discussing payments technology adoption showing is more effective than telling. That’s why Priority relies heavily on case studies and customer success testimonials to build trust, instill confidence, and give prospective customers a solid understanding of the true cost-benefits-risks analysis that can be realized when its innovative payments solutions are implemented. 

Overcoming the Cost Barrier

Another basic Business 101 saying is, “You have to spend money to make money.” Still, many businesses considering adopting digital payments solutions may misguidedly believe they are better off doing nothing because of the initial investment cost coupled with ongoing maintenance and the anticipation of undergoing such a transformative process. According to Priore, “When the right partner is working with a business, these misconceptions are far from the truth. At Priority, we do the heavy lifting by onboarding our customers and helping to bring their suppliers and vendors into the new system to ease the burdens of transition.”

Thomas Priore notes that while switching to digital payments solutions is not without costs, he’s learned where technology truly falls short is when it doesn’t offer real solutions. “A byproduct of technology is when it doesn’t necessarily make things as smooth and as expedient as the customer expects, so the cost is greater,” Priore explains. “I think there’s a technology evolution at the intersection of payments and banking that we talk about as unified commerce at Priority, but that also comes with customer support every step of the way. When all of these work together, we create the most value.”

He continues with, “Healthcare providers are getting paid by health insurers. There is complicated information that transfers back and forth between them to reconcile payments and make that happen fast. Construction managers are doing large projects, office buildings, stadiums, roads, and bridges, paying hundreds of subcontractors at a time. These are just two of the complex industries where sophisticated technology could solve some real challenges with better business solutions. At Priority, we see embedding the financial services of banking and payments into business ecosystems as the key to better managing business. This will help create more cash flow, cost management, and improved accounting practices,” states Priore.  

Battling the ‘Existing Workflow Blues’

Another stumbling block that Thomas Priore has witnessed firsthand is when companies take on technologies that are not compatible with their existing systems and processes. “When technology is disruptive to those willing to adopt it or requires companies to change the way everything is done, that’s just a bridge too far. I think technology has to be built with a level of elegance that fits in with existing workflows, but also improves the overall process and provides opportunities for efficiency. To me, that is the magic that needs to happen to drive more rapid adoption,” Priore says.

To meet the challenges of integrating payments technologies into existing systems and avoid potential disruption to day-to-day operations, Priority takes a collaborative approach with customers that puts their processes and operations into sharp focus during the onboarding and integration process. Priority’s customer success team provides ongoing support to ensure optimal use and offers training opportunities on the implemented solutions. Additionally, supplier and vendor set-up and other meaningful workflow improvements are offered to customers to lighten their load. 

Why New Payments Solutions are Critical to Continued Success in the Changing Economy

Thomas Priore thinks with the shifting economic landscape, businesses that can’t or won’t prioritize developing modernized payments solutions risk becoming dinosaurs or fading out, and his vision for Priority is to continually advance. “We think about how we can make it easy for suppliers to come into a network to accept payments digitally, how suppliers and vendors can be incentivized to do so in a way where the benefits of electronic payments outweigh the cost… Finding that value exchange in our technology stack is paramount. That, I think, should be the mission in payments and how we’ll continue to weather this changing economy. We’ll continue modernizing the unified commerce experience for those we serve, whether it’s SMB, B2B, or Enterprise customers,” states Priore.