Meeting the needs of both buyers and suppliers is becoming increasingly easy thanks to technology sitting in between accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) departments.
This week's look at the convergence of AR and AP finds new solutions from banks and FinTechs alike finding opportunity to strengthen the buyer-supplier relationship through tools that tackle friction on both ends of the B2B transaction. These opportunities range from easing supplier onboarding to electronic payments via AP portals, to introducing supply chain financing to promote cash flow for both buyer and supplier.
Signature Bank Streamlines Supplier Onboarding
Chicago's Signature Bank recently debuted a new accounts payable solution for its business customers designed to offer companies choice in how they pay suppliers while streamlining processes.
The solution, Finrails AP, certainly focuses on the corporate buyer, offering businesses the ability to upload a single payment file, mitigate fraud, digitize approvals and pay via card, ACH or check.
But, as the financial institution noted, the accounts payable offering also aims to streamline the process for suppliers to receive payment via the solution by addressing friction in the vendor onboarding process. Finrails AP comes with a customer service team to support supplier onboarding, Signature Bank said, with a focus on helping those suppliers accept electronic B2B payments.
Genpact Wields AR for Customer Satisfaction
Professional services firm Genpact recently announced a partnership with accounts receivable automation company HighRadius to support corporates' AR digitization initiatives.
Together, the companies are helping joint corporate customers transform their order-to-cash cycles for improved cash flow management and revenue generation. Yet their tie-up is also focusing on another important opportunity in accounts receivable to deepen its ties with clients' accounts payable operations for an improved customer experience.
“Genpact and HighRadius will solve this challenge by delivering a transformative digital automation solution that enables businesses to maximize their working capital, while enhancing the customer and user experiences,” said Genpact Chief Strategy Officer Katie Stein in a statement.
In a recent conversation with PYMNTS, Stein further explored the role AR plays in strengthening the buyer-supplier relationship, which emerged as vendors' top priority for the year ahead, according to the company's own research.
Cashfree Wields UPI for Both AR and AP
In India, payments technology firm Cashfree introduced a new service to improve corporates' adoption of the nation's UPI (Unified Payments Interface) real-time payment service, for both incoming and outgoing payments.
The company announced the introduction of its UPI stack for corporates designed to enable integration of UPI capabilities across the accounts payable and accounts receivable operations of businesses. With a focus on interoperability with a range of payment platforms including Google Pay and Paytm, the stack is focused on opening UPI for a wider set of business use cases and streamlining businesses' payment inflows and outflows, including recurring payments.
“With this launch, we are enabling businesses to implement 15-plus UPI integrations for all their payment needs within a day’s work,” said Akash Sinha, co-founder and CEO of Cashfree, in a statement. “We see this as a step to help product creators and businesses adopt UPI and make the most of the infrastructure for crucial business needs, such as payment collections, refund processing, vendor onboarding and more.”
LexisNexis CounselLink Targets Buyer-Supplier Needs
LexisNexis CounselLink recently revealed its collaboration with supply chain financing platform LSQ in an initiative designed to position technology in between accounts payable and accounts receivable departments and find common ground between buyers and suppliers.
The solution, dubbed CounselLink FastTrack, focuses on accelerating payments to law firms servicing corporate legal departments, with supply chain financing able to accelerate law firms' invoice-to-cash cycles while still providing capital float for corporate legal departments.
In a conversation with PYMNTS, CounselLink General Manager Aaron Pierce highlighted the complex payment and financial agreements between legal departments and outside legal counsel that can introduce friction for both sides' financial management strategies.
“Law firms are looking for consistency in payments to make sure they don’t have to weather long payment terms,” he said. “Corporate legal departments are always looking for help in managing cash flow, reducing their outside legal expenses and holding onto money as long as they can.”
Supply chain finance, he said, can be an effective way to meet the needs of both AP and AR operations.