The financial technology space may be getting smaller, bit by bit, inch by inch, through strategic acquisitions.
In one recent announcement, Corcentric, which offers procure-to-pay technology, said that it had acquired eInvoicing firm InfoAccess.net. While the financial terms were undisclosed, that deal seeks to expand the former firm’s reach into the automated accounts payable space.
And in an interview with PYMNTS, Matt Clark, chief operating officer of Concentric, said that the acquisition was made as his firm has “found itself to be in a position as a consolidator” of firms with similar capabilities.
In this case, he said, the assumption of InfoAccess.net’s client base means further inroads made to firms that are larger than the typical Corcentric client, where the firm had focused on the middle market. The client roster of the new acquisition is one that has trended toward more Fortune 500 enterprises and players on a global scale, such as 3M and Sherwin-Williams, to name just two.
The challenge here, for firms of such size, is perhaps not surprisingly the greater volume of invoices and processing that needs to be addressed. The space, he said, “is oversaturated with lots of providers,” many of them smaller and numbering as many as 150 firms. Against that backdrop, stated Clark, his firm will aim to be a consolidator.
With the automation of some of the invoice processing and flow, said Clark, the key is to “minimize exceptions.” This occurs when there is duplication of invoices and when extra effort is expended at the back end of a given enterprise. The fact remains, said Clark, that invoices come in several different forms, from emails to paper, and can be configured in any number of ways. Eliminating exceptions means that firms will not pay the same invoice twice.
The automation, he said, and straight-through processing via the cloud and portals help match invoices across purchase orders and other documents to ensure the flow has been correct. In addition, the firm launched (earlier this year) a supply chain financing tool geared toward the B2B market, which can be used across recurring or one-time payment options. The supply chain financing feature lets firms choose payment conduits, such as credit cards or corporate cards, among several other options.