The Knot CFO Says Couples Asking for Crypto as a Gift but Not Using It to Pay

On the registry offered by digital wedding-planner leader The Knot Worldwide, couples can register for a blender, an experience — or crypto. 

“We’ve actually seen couples start to register for crypto as part of their registry,” Andy Ivanovich, chief financial officer at The Knot Worldwide, told PYMNTS. “It’s not something where they [couples] have gone all in, but some people are saying, ‘Hey, rather than sending me a new set of plates, can you actually just buy me some bitcoin?’” 

That’s one of the changes the company has seen as it serves couples and wedding vendors. Across its different brands, The Knot Worldwide offers couples access to 700,000 local wedding vendors in 16 countries. 

The company is also closely monitoring the buy now, pay later (BNPL) trend. Ivanovich said this year is the first in which Generation Z is entering the marriage age window, and these digital-first consumers are bringing their expectations of digital products with them. 

“BNPL is something that our users are seeing, right? You can finance your pair of shoes, you can finance a pizza — what about a wedding?” Ivanovich said. 

While that payment option has been seen more in goods and packaged products than in services, the team at The Knot Worldwide is looking at BNPL’s uses in the wedding industry. 

“As innovators in the space, we are keeping a really close eye on it,” Ivanovich said. “I think there’s a couple of areas where it could be applicable.” 

Implementing Processes, Tools and Automation 

To continue meeting needs of both its couples and vendors, when the pandemic started, The Knot Worldwide and its accounting, finance and corporate strategy professionals accelerated along a path that they were already on, Ivanovich said. 

“Thematically, the way I’ve thought about it is transparency, automation and globalization,” Ivanovich said. “Those have been the three big things that we have been focused on internally relative to all of our accounting processes, and specifically the areas of AP and AR and treasury.” 

On transparency, when there was the disruption of COVID, the first questions revolved around tracking what was happening — where the checks were, whether the company was getting paid, who it was paying, when it was paying them and where its money was.

To answer these questions without error or hesitation, The Knot Worldwide started putting all its suppliers through a supplier onboarding program, making sure the company knows where every invoice is at every point in time, while also aggregating spend across vendors and understanding how that ties into the company’s procurement process, contracts process and so forth. 

“We implemented a bunch of processes — some through just truly process, some through new tools and automation — to make sure that we have a really clear view of what’s happening across our organization,” Ivanovich said. 

See also: PYMNTS Intelligence: How Payments Automation and Digitization Can Reduce Errors and Streamline Transactions

Benefiting from Automation and Globalization 

On automation — the second item that was on the company’s agenda — they’ve deployed automatic reminders and workflows, using digital tools to make sure their consolidation and close process has efficient handoffs with nothing being overlooked in the process. 

“Going remote and going virtual has meant that we don’t have as many in-person interactions — our margin of error is lower, so we want to make sure that there’s no chance that we miss something,” Ivanovich said. 

On globalization — the third item on the agenda — having offices across the U.S. and around the world has enabled the company to be more efficient.

For example, when Ivanovich gets started each morning, he has a payment run that has been put together by the team in India with tagging, allocations and business codes for everything that’s going out — a clean spreadsheet with a queued-up payment run. Ivanovich can review, validate, check versus contract, see who approved it and then, with one button, release it. 

“It’s been fantastic. We’ve really been able to take advantage of both the technology and the process and the global footprint that we have to make that all more efficient,” Ivanovich said. 

Read more: Automating Workflows Takes the ‘Crazy’ Out of Accounts-Payable Processes

Providing Essential Services 

The Knot Worldwide’s service is free to both couples and vendors, but vendors can boost their placement through advertising. 

Vendors can pay to be included in a row of sponsored listings at the top of the search results. They do so on a subscription basis, so the company has moved a lot of its contracts to be auto-renewing over the past two years. 

Along with that, it has moved to a lot of digital payments and offers a portal that enables customers to see what they’re getting, what they’re paying and when their next renewal date will be. 

The marketplace is essential to the vendors because the vendors can’t rely on repeat business the way a coffee shop or restaurant can. “You cannot rely on repeat couples,” Ivanovich noted. Instead, the vendors must refill their book of business each year. 

“Especially coming out of the pandemic, with increased consumer confidence, the vendors are busier than they’ve ever been,” Ivanovich said. “We’re actually seeing new vendors entering the ecosystem and record-high retention rates.”