The movement to online billing and payments takes on a new urgency when B2B firms grow beyond their own borders and when they need to get paid more quickly than paper-based transactions allow.
In an interview with PYMNTS, order-to-cash solutions provider Anachron’s owner and CTO, Marco Eeman, said that his firm’s Order2Cash platform — which helps manage the cash cycle on a global basis, from eInvoicing to credit scoring to archiving — took shape to fill a vacuum within B2B payments.
A trend among Anachron’s large customers was that “they were buying service by service, across providers and in a fragmented market, from credit scoring to processing to eInvoicing. There were no single providers offering all of this in one place.”
That lack of continuum from order to cash, said Eeman, especially impacted, and still impacts, companies that have multiple locations globally and which are among the larger players in their respective industries. Those global enterprises tend to be among the typical customers of Anachron, and many of them send hundreds of thousands of invoices annually.
Anachron wanted to provide a full suite of services “globally but also locally,” said Eeman, which gave impetus to a system such as Accept2Pay, which helps automate online payments across languages and currencies.
More recently, the partnership with Buckaroo helps fill some functionality in the Anachron suite, said Eeman. The addition of Buckaroo has been “specifically for collection and invoicing and then reconciliation” of payments. Such adoption of technology, Eeman said, is especially important within B2B, which tends to still be tied to offline payment activity — think paper invoices and manual data input. The company has estimated that its Order2Cash platform can save customers (the ones sending the outbound invoices and collecting payment) as much as 50 percent off the cost of traditional invoicing, with expenses such as printing, mailing and staffing costs, and there is a 20 percent reduction in DSO.
Through its recent opening of an office in the United States, said Eeman, Anachron is taking root in a country that has particular potential for the movement in B2B from offline to online payments and digitization of records. “We’ve already had the core data, from the moment the invoice hits the system,” the executive told PYMNTS. “The question had been how to monetize that invoice that is in the system.” With Buckaroo, he said, the solution exists “as a simple add-on that serves the need for more detail between suppliers and buyers … The first step is to have a current customer digitize data, to move from paper or scans or rekeyed manual data,” he added, “and to extract that data from the ERP of the supplier, to the buyer, and have a straight-through process.”
With Buckaroo and its focus on the supplier side of the transaction, Anachron exists in between Buckaroo and the actual payments that take place on a cross-border basis. There is a simple check box option for existing Anachron clients who want to opt into payments (they do not have to sign in to a separate site or portal). All supplier outbound invoices, said Eeman, can be sent via Anachron to customers, with cash collected by Buckaroo.
Thus, the streamlined process that Anachron has said “makes international payments possible in a heartbeat.” As Eeman stated, the integration of services across the platform ensures that after the release of the document through the ERP, the invoice goes to be paid, and through Buckaroo, payments can be finalized within seconds or minutes, where once the process took days or weeks.
In reference to security, Eeman said his firm is audited on an annual basis by Deloitte, and that all documents that cross the platform have digital signatures in place, authenticating invoices and transactions and leaving an audit trail.