If only commercial (B2B) payments could be as frictionless as retail payments, when consumers pay merchants.
That’s an ambition shared by many an entrepreneur who sets out to innovate the massively huge opportunity that awaits in the B2B space. It’s what also drove Mike Galarza to found Entryless.
“Three quarters of all B2B transactions still happen through paper or PDF,” notes Galarza, and require the need for both an accounts receivable and an accounts payable department. Meanwhile, in a B2C transaction, “the consumer can simply pull up their credit card to pay for goods and services.”
The company’s approach — while not disregarding the reality that B2B payments are much more complex than those on the B2C side — puts a particular emphasis on the one commonality between the two otherwise disparate types of transactions: the customer.
Not the consumer, mind you — the customer. As in, the human being that operates a business.
“Our ambitions are fueled by serving and fulfilling a need for our customers,” explains Galarza, “because ultimately we're passionate about how we're changing [their] lives.”
By way of example, the Entryless CEO shares the experiences of the company receiving an email from a business owner that credits the solution with allowing him “to spend more time making sales instead of working on manual data entry for suppliers’ bills,” and another who thanks Entryless because now he can “spend more time with [his] family.”
Facilitating those “life-changing” moments is what Galarza says “fuels our entire team.”
The need among businesses to access and manage their bills online within an entirely automated system — a need that Entryless meets — is a global one.
“It’s exactly the same problem,” observes Galarza, “in the U.S., Australia … the U.K., New Zealand [and] Canada.”
If there is a geographic base that’s doing its part to get B2B payments up to speed with B2C, it’s the U.S., with Galarza pointing to Entryless’ home country as the source of many applications that are coming online — such as QuickBooks and Xero — as well as moving to the cloud.
“This is creating a fragmentation in the market,” explains Galarza, “where, fortunately for businesses, they have a lot of options to choose from.”
Less fortunate for businesses in that regard, however, is the fact that “none of those systems talk to one another,” he adds. Companies who have financial data on one service are unable to share it with counterparts who keep their data on a different one.
The need that this creates, Galarza continues, is “for a system in the middle than can actually connect with both sides — the supplier’s operating system and also the buyer’s operating system.”
And that’s the role that Entryless serves, as the CEO explains: “We can connect a QuickBooks buyer with a Xero seller and then send all their documents and deals through Entryless. Entryless will automate them and then we'll enable that payment.”
That automation system — which uses machine learning in analyzing bills, extracting the key data, and “[putting] them appropriately into the business objects that are needed accounting-wise,” is something that Galarza says the company is “very proud of,” and an element that has been essential to the company’s growth.
“When we set out to transform companies,” he goes on to state, “we built a system that would be able to capture a bill in any format — and that's something that now is our reality. We have very high accuracy rates and, most importantly, we have the ability to enter bills automatically without having people typing them.”
Galarza posits that, in essence, Entryless is doing for businesses “what the credit card processors are doing for consumers.”
“We are letting them do transactions online and we're keeping the records of those financial transactions,” he continues. “Now the buyer doesn't need to receive a paper invoice; they don't need to type anything into their accounting system — they can just pay online.”
Part and parcel with Entryless serving a role for businesses that credit card processors serve for consumers is the fact that the company follows the same PCI compliance regulations to which the latter group is bound.
As far as Entryless’ specific role in that evolution, Galarza states plainly that, for his company, “It’s about moving the money faster” — particularly for SMBs, for whom cash flow is “the most critical aspect of their business.”
Noting that his company has “a couple of projects coming this year” that will work toward making B2B payments faster, Galarza concludes: “I think that's the most critical part that Entryless is solving.”