FinTech firms are tracking the evolution of digital commerce and payments while tapping into the experiences of their leaders. AvidXchange Chief Operating Officer Steve Boehm, for instance, got the chance to live life at a web 1.0 company through his experiences of roughly six years at eBay. In the early days of the global exchange, where anyone could buy or sell anything from anyone else, Boehm told PYMNTS in an interview that people were essentially “mailing in envelopes of money and checks.”
There are still many lessons to learn now as Boehm moves to a business-to-business (B2B) company, with the vast majority of payments made between buyers and suppliers of services occurring via checks. As more companies start trying to digitize their accounts receivable (AR) or accounts payable (AP) processes, Boehm says that figuring out how to embed digital payments into those workflows is a natural extension of that trend. As he noted, the evolution is moving at around the same pace as did consumers’ replacement of checks.
AvidXchange is “trying to find those early adopters and help nurture that same sort of evolution,” Boehm said. By doing so, he thinks the company has created visibility for the value that faster electronic payments can create. He believes the B2B market is on the brink of a shift from paper to electronic payments. Moreover, he added that the evolution is inexorable, and that the prediction made years ago that software is going to eat the world is happening – and that it “is transforming almost every business process.”
Mid-sized companies, as well as small, medium and large suppliers of services, are trying to figure out how to take advantage of these innovations to lower their costs, improve their cash flows and give them better information about who is consuming or purchasing their services. They are also seeking more options, and Boehm predicts there will be a proliferation of payment choices in the B2B space. But one can’t push payments without underlying value to business processes on both sides of the equation, he noted, suggesting that the value provided for both seller and buyer is of key importance to FinTech firms.