As accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) operations continue to converge for many organizations, buyers and suppliers are increasingly acknowledging the value of using each other's technology platforms to promote stronger B2B relationships.
Now more than ever, buyer-supplier ties form a crucial component of ensuring that cash continues to flow through supply chains — and yet today, late payments and cash flow bottlenecks continue to plague both sides of B2B payments. Below, PYMNTS rounds up the latest efforts for AR and AP solution providers to mitigate friction for both buyers and suppliers.
Peasy Explores The Early Payment Incentive
The development of early payment discount programs is one strategy to help align buyers' AP operations with their vendors' AR teams. But as David Landsberg, co-founder and CEO of Peasy, recently told PYMNTS, these programs aren't always effective, and can sometimes create a scenario in which a supplier accepts a steep discount on an invoice without ever actually being paid.
Peasy recently launched in the U.K. to introduce more powerful incentives for B2B buyers to pay early, connecting firms to rebates that grow the earlier they pay. Landsberg noted that in today's volatile market climate, ensuring that both suppliers and buyers have access to tools that support their cash flow needs — which often conflict — is critical to preserving the buyer-supplier relationship and promoting financial well-being, especially ahead of an anticipated pullback of traditional bank lending.
MineralTree Pairs For Global AP
MineralTree recently secured a partnership with global payments technology company TransferMate to expand the AP solution provider's ability to support cross-border B2B invoice payments. MineralTree's latest platform enhancements enable businesses to reconcile invoices paid in their home currency, while TransferMate is also enabling those firms to pay foreign invoices in their suppliers' local currency.
“As middle-market companies look to scale their businesses by sourcing more goods and services globally, the management of international AP becomes an important consideration,” said MineralTree President Vijay Ramnathan in a statement. In addition to providing efficiency for AP teams, support for multiple currencies can also tackle significant FX friction for vendors' AR operations.
Esker Adds Credit Tech To AR Platform
In a recent extension of its accounts receivable and order-to-cash offerings, Esker recently announced the addition of its Credit Management, a tool that allows B2B suppliers to assess customer credit risk and manage current customers who are procuring goods on trade credit. The tool addresses the needs of both buyers and suppliers, enabling suppliers to bridge the gap between sales and credit operations and to manage customer risk in real time. For buyers, it supports the ability to seamlessly make purchases on credit while offering customized onboarding and credit approval processes, Esker noted.
Medius Talks Meeting SMBs Halfway With AP
Digital transformation is vital to survival, particularly for smaller businesses. But with AP and AR workflows so deeply intertwined, a vendor that continues to submit paper or PDF invoices can snarl an SMB's AP digitization efforts.
Speaking with PYMNTS, Anna Leo, vice president of Medius Ascendo North America, explained that AP technologies must be able to meet small businesses halfway when it comes to implementing automated solutions. Supporting their need to accept paper invoices or enabling SMBs to generate paper purchase orders, for example, is key to supporting a gradual modernization process without too much disruption. At the same time, this tactic also enables SMBs to digitize AP without forcing digitization on suppliers' AR operations.