If cash flow is as much about strategy as it is about numbers, being early has its advantages, and the early here refers to “early payments.”
In the latest news to come from Viewpost, the B2B network focused on invoicing and real-time cash flow visibility with an eye on supply chain dynamics, it announced on Tuesday (Sept. 13) that it is launching a new feature for its Viewpost Express cash management solution.
This time around, the firm said, the focus is on supplier-originated early payment requests. In other words, suppliers can announce their willingness to offer discounts on transactions conducted with buyers, as a way of getting cash quickly (by getting paid sooner) and as needed.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Max Eliscu, CEO of Viewpost, said that the update to the Viewpost Express offering means that suppliers alerting buyers of the willingness to be paid early also allows for buyers — even if they are not on the Viewpost network — to take advantage of cash flow benefits of their own — in this case, discounts. Eliscu noted that the buyers can see the broadcast of invoices eligible for early payment. Discount terms are broadcast as well, via tables, with the ability to set special terms depending on the business relationship. The discount changes with a narrowing of that “spread” as the due dates of payments draw ever closer — thus, the concept of dynamic discounting. The invoices shared between parties carry no additional costs, as Viewpost has noted, and transactions can be completed across mobile devices.
Early adopters of the supplier-originated requests are likely to include commercial, industrial, transport and other companies that tend to make tangible goods, said Eliscu.
The key benefit, said the CEO, is freeing up the cash that is tied up in unpaid invoices, and suppliers have suffered from the same lack of visibility into cash coming into the business as other members of a given supply chain might see. The push toward optimal working capital management also means a more optimal business relationship, said Eliscu, as suppliers do not need to pick up the phone and have an awkward conversation about the desire to be paid early. Buyers and suppliers who are both part of the Viewpost network transact through the means of electronic payments, while, if a buyer is not on the network, a paper check is mailed to the supplier.