Payments Innovation

Pandemic-Proof Finance Operations Are Cloud-First And Global

Tipalti

“Once a business solves its digital transaction processing issues, they need to start considering how to efficiently and effectively go global. The world economy won’t wait for the U.S. to recover.”

Cross-border trade and payments have gotten far easier in recent years, and that’s a beautiful thing for recovering companies seeking new territories and customers. Noting that some countries are able to operate more normally now than the U.S., Tipalti CEO and Co-Founder Chen Amit said, “[It is] these countries that can make up for some of the shortfalls as both customers and suppliers. Going cross-border for goods and services will only improve the supply chain availability for the future. And it’s no surprise that these transactions have to be digital for the sake of efficiency, fraud protection and auditability.”

The following is an excerpt from How 35 Execs Are Powering The Great Digital Shift Of 2020 (And Beyond), contributed by Tipalti CEO and Co-Founder Chen Amit.

Leaders in corporate finance face a choice right now: be on board with digital payments and commerce to keep business moving, or face the reckoning of being left behind. Digital-first pay-in and pay-out platforms have proven that they’re lynchpins to keeping companies running in the realities of a remote, disparate workforce and unpredictable shifts in both revenue and supply chain payments. There are no more excuses for investing in a modern, viable FinTech stack. As 2020 has proven, the cloud has won, and is the only meaningful path for modern financial commerce and operations.

Once a business solves its digital transaction processing issues, they need to start considering how to efficiently and effectively go global. The world economy won’t wait for the U.S. to recover. Unfortunately, the U.S. is lagging in getting itself healthy and getting back to business predictably and safely. But other countries have flattened the curve — and it’s these countries that can make up for some of the shortfalls as both customers and suppliers. Going cross-border for goods and services will only improve the supply chain availability for the future. And it’s no surprise that these transactions have to be digital for the sake of efficiency, fraud protection and auditability.

That’s not to say there aren’t still overall capacity and logistics issues affecting the global supply chain. Some suppliers can meet their needs, and some cannot. For businesses whose broader supplier community is mission-critical (gig economy, online marketplaces, ad tech, digital media and entertainment), a highly optimized approach to smooth supplier relationships, supplier management and digital onboarding processes is crucial. Those companies need to identify opportunities to retain reliable suppliers to keep their own machines running. Failing to do so increases the risk that goods and services will go to competitors.

As part of those supplier relationships, finance leaders need to realize that everyone is trying to maximize cash flow and extending payment terms. It’s a situation that can cascade badly for the greater commerce ecosystem. Like gears turning without lubrication, they’ll grind, burn and break. With the help of third-party lenders, businesses can utilize early payment tools to soften the blow on suppliers who are also struggling with those issues. And again, this can’t be done manually. In order to scale across the supply chain, early payments have to be part of an integrated accounts payable process.

The positive news is that once you streamline and automate those processes, your company will be in incredible shape when the full recovery happens. While we’ve seen a slowdown in some sectors, we are basically maintaining our current runway of new customers that are looking to streamline their processes and scale their productivity. There is still business happening, but it’s all being done in the cloud.

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