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July 17, 2018

WEX survey shows 'strong' global appetite for payments innovation

WEX Inc., the South Portland-based provider of corporate payment processing and business solutions for truck fleets, travel and health care, said its survey of global CFOs and executives found a "strong" appetite for innovation in the payments sector.

Of more than 900 executives and senior financial executives surveyed from three continents, the vast majority (81%) somewhat agree that payment providers should offer more innovative technology and that consumer behaviors strongly influence their firms' use of payments technology innovations (80%).

While companies still write checks for business payments, half of those surveyed have an electronic payables initiative already in place and more than one-third have one in the works.

Safety was shown to be a primary concern, with 53% of America executives and 49% in Europe likely to be very concerned about information security as it relates to payments, compared to 26% of their Asian peers.

Jay Dearborn, president of corporate payments at WEX, told Mainebiz that the annual study aims to help CFOs from around the world gauge where their peers are and where the sector is headed.

"The study provides CFOs with the most useful information about the payments landscape — and hopefully helps them to fill any gaps they may be struggling with in their own business models," he said.

As for WEX, he said it will use the study's conclusions "to pinpoint both where our current and prospective clients may be seeking more innovation and which aspects of the business are causing the most concern."

He added: "If we can further anticipate where CFOs are going to need our support and consultation, then that only makes us stronger partners."

WEX (NYSE: WEX), which employs 3,000 people around the world, posted sales of $1.25 billion in 2017, up from $1.02 billion in 2016. It is building a new global headquarters on Portland's eastern waterfront and had a market value of around $8.45 billion as of Tuesday's close on the New York Stock Exchange.

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