If you want to meet customer needs in the electronic accounts payable industry, customization is key.
Given the variance in verticals that need access to accounts payable (AP) solutions, this may not come as a surprise. Yet many AP solution providers take a one-size-fits-all approach to their platforms as the industry sees an overall shift towards electronic payments.
It’s a lack of that type of uniformity that Keith Stone, CEO at CSI Enterprises, credits with allowing his company to become successful in the space. As many of CSI’s customers see at least a 45 percent shift in moving their payables from check to cards, the need to create a custom yet complete solution is of huge importance.
That’s something CSI addressed recently by updating its globalVcard paysystems platform with check print and mail service capabilities, helping to further differentiate the solution in a crowded industry.
“We are able to accomplish this not by working in a vacuum, but rather by working alongside CFOs from many verticals to customize our program,” he explained.
Just how quickly is the AP segment shifting towards electronic payments, and what else does Stone view as a major differentiator for CSI? PYMNTS.com spoke with Stone to find out.
PYMNTS.com: I understand that you’ve updated your globalVcard paysystems platform with check print and mail services capabilities. Tell us how these new functions help make globalVcard a more complete solution.
Keith Stone: Our ability to now handle 100 percent of our customers’ AP needs has been driven by the overwhelming number of requests we’ve received from AP customers. Our customers today have at least a 45 percent adoption in moving their payables from check to card, and most have a much higher percentage of enrollment. That’s significant, and with that high of a percentage, it’s a natural progression for us to move to 100 percent electronic support.
For those vendors that are not quite ready to make the move to electronic payments, we have found that our customers would like CSI to handle everything – including, the paper check process, until the full conversion takes place.
It seems like you’re emphasizing that this gives clients the ability to pay 100 percent of their client’s vendor payments electronically. Why is that a big deal and what aspects couldn’t be completed electronically before this update?
It is definitely a big deal. Since CSI has gotten so good at providing detailed and thoroughly-reconciled data reporting, it’s a perfect extension to bring our strengths to multiple forms of AP options, which now include check writing, ACH and closed loop card payment (for those rare instances when vendors are unable to accept virtual MasterCard payment).
It has always been our intent to offer a total AP solution, leading with our single-use virtual MasterCard product. We’re happy to be rolling out our complete AP product suite now, including added forms of payment. Virtual cards offer the potential for rebate accrual, and with these cards companies can obtain rebates on check disbursements that are migrated to virtual card payments.
We hear about payments becoming more and more electronic all the time now, so how does globalVcard stand out in what’s becoming an increasingly competitive market?
CSI’s globalVCard is known to be the most user-friendly, vertical-specific and complete solution offered in the electronic AP market – may I say “Best in Class.” We are able to accomplish this not by working in a vacuum, but rather by working alongside CFO’s from many verticals to customize our program to meet very specific needs within each industry.
A significant differentiator for CSI is this: We are not only a financial payments company, but also a software and IT company. This blend makes us unique in the market and enables us to deliver the most advanced and complete product to our customers – a product that was created specifically to meet their needs.
Finally, what do you have planned next? Are you continuing to build out the globalVcard paysystem platform, are you working on another project? Tell us what the future holds for CSI.
Our patent-pending mobile app won the top award (as you know) for the Innovation Project held at Harvard earlier this year. Our current release of a Total AP solution is the most comprehensive in the marketplace. What’s next? We’re not ready “yet” to publicly announce what’s underway, but you can be assured that at CSI, there is always something new in the works to meet our customer’s changing needs. Stay tuned for some exciting things on the horizon!
Keith James Stone
Founder, CEO CSI Enterprises, Inc
Founder, President & CEO globalVCard paysystems
Keith J. Stone currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of CSI Enterprises, Inc. with a twenty-four year history. Mr. Stone resigned his dual role as President and Managing Director of GE Capital Fleet Services Brazil/Latin American Operations in late 2000, residing in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
GE Capital Services in early 1997 purchased CSI’s South American operations CSI Fleet Services do Brasil/Latin America. LTDA . Then ten years prior to the South American acquisition he was, as is today, the President and CEO of CSI Enterprises, Inc., globalVCard paysystems Inc. and globalVCard Inc. Canada.
Proven innovator, entrepreneur, strategist, pioneer, and inventor, Mr. Stone has founded and guided numerous U.S. and international companies to successful outcomes all with zero venture capital funding or outside investment. Mr. Stone’s zero debt strategy allows true independence without negative outside influence. This allows the companies to stay true to their core values, fostering true innovation without debt influences.