More and more, B2B payment solutions are focusing less on single end-points of friction, and more on the overall picture of how money (and data) moves from one business to another. That means emerging services are multitasking, easing friction for both accounts payable and accounts receivable. Below, PYMNTS explores the latest initiatives and finds that innovators are looking at the accounts receivable side to tackle accounts payable friction.
Tipalti Reallocates The Workload
In a recent conversation with Karen Webster, Tipalti CEO Chen Amit looked back at a decade of accounts payable friction. There were glaring friction points, he said, from regulatory challenges for incompatible payment methods.
Ten years on, Amit said Tipalti has now identified the “sweet spots” of the industry, noting that a focus on the supplier can be a crucial part of easing complexity. With technology to sit in the middle of a buyer-supplier relationship, solution providers can offload some of the supplier management burden on the buy-side.
“Accounts payable and finance departments in the middle market want to invest in growth, in products, in service, in people — they don’t want to invest in suppliers or supplier-related processes,” he said, highlighting the supplier management and communication component of AP that is becoming increasingly important.
Fintainium Eyes Remittance For AR, AP
One of the biggest challenges in B2B payments today for both buyer and supplier is the need for transaction data for remittance, reconciliation and accounting. Typically, this point of friction is viewed from the point of view from the recipient, but as Fintainium CEO Richard Jackman recently told PYMNTS, this data is equally as important for the buy-side organization.
Deeper connectivity between buyer and supplier, and between accounts payable and accounts receivable portals, is vital to solving this challenge.
“Enabling seamless communications, integrations and interoperability” means facilitating the flow of transaction data between parties, he said. “There’s nothing more valuable than remittance data. This is what businesses are asking for. They need the remittance data, whether it’s incoming or outgoing, to be able to sync up with their general ledger system.”
Centsoft, Quickbooks Deepens Buyer-Supplier Connectivity
In a recent announcement, accounts payable solution provider Centsoft said its technology is now integrated with Quickbooks Online, a tie-in that negates the need for suppliers to adjust their invoice submission process.
The integration means invoices can be scanned in Centsoft, with that information automatically added into Quickbooks to be routed, approved, and paid. The Centsoft feature also automatically maintains supplier information, including register, account and preferred currency, easing friction for buyers as well as suppliers trying to get paid more efficiently.
Esker Adds Support For Multiple Payment Methods
One of the biggest challenges for vendors is being able to support the variety of payment methods their corporate buyers want to use. In a new solution recently announced by process automation solutions provider Esker, the company is introducing an integration with Stripe Connect that allows businesses using Esker’s order-to-cash solution to more seamlessly get paid.
The integration means businesses can work with a single payment provider that supports credit and debit cards, as well as direct debit methods from payment rails across more than 40 countries.
“By enriching our O2C solution with online payment, we increase businesses’ operating efficiencies and help them get paid faster, particularly in the collections process,” said Esker CEO Jean-Michel Bérard. The enhancements will also allow suppliers to give their buyers greater choice in how they pay their invoices.
Biller Genie Expands AP Choice Too
Biller Genie, which providers account receivable automation and eInvoicing solutions, is also taking a look at the accounts payable side through the introduction of support for Apple Pay and other features that make it easier for businesses to settle the invoices companies send via Biller Genie.
The upgrades also allow companies to print out paper invoices to adhere to their buyers’ requirements to send payments, while also introducing the option to offer buyers a payment play on large invoices through suppliers that can break up bills into smaller installments — features developed in the accounts receivable end of a transaction, but solve friction on the accounts payable side.
Xero, Square Lower Invoice Payment Barriers
In a recently-announced collaboration between Xero and Square, the companies revealed their integration that allows Xero to automatically send email invoices from the accounting platform, which offers built-in Square payment functionality, making it easier for recipients to settle the bill via credit or debit card. Payments are automatically recorded back into the Xero system, meaning vendors can get paid more quickly and reconcile more efficiently, while buyers face less friction to settling invoices.
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