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Fifth Third and Bottomline Debut Enhanced Payables Tool

Fifth Third Bank is working with business payments provider Bottomline to offer new payment options.

The companies debuted of Enhanced Payables — powered by Bottomline and its business payments network, Paymode-X — designed to help customers streamline their payment processes and enhance cash flow management and efficiencies, according to a Tuesday (May 14) press release.

“Efficiency in accounts payable starts with modernizing how businesses pay and get paid,” Jeff Feuerstein, senior vice president of commercial and payment product management for Paymode-X, said in the release. “Our partnership with Fifth Third makes the work of accounts payables more modern, driving efficiency through automation and offering the business payments and supplier scale that comes with the Paymode-X network.”

The collaboration will let customers access a range of payment capabilities, such as invoice automation, virtual card payments, premium Automated Clearing House payments, ACH payments, check payments and B2B payments, the release said.

Bottomline’s partnership with Fifth Third comes on the heels of last month’s collaboration with Coupa, which is connecting to Paymode-X to automate payments from buyers to suppliers.

“By automating the entire payment lifecycle through Bottomline’s secure payments network, businesses also benefit from stronger supplier relationships by improving payment timeliness and providing better data visibility,” Bill Wardwell, general manager of Coupa Pay and Treasury, said at the time.

The partnerships are happening as a majority of middle-market CFOs tell PYMNTS Intelligence that challenges in receiving payments contribute greatly to uncertainty at their companies.

Meanwhile, the PYMNTS Intelligence study “2024 Certainty Report” showed that 6 in 10 middle-market firms faced challenges in managing the day-to-day ebb and flow of B2B payments.

Commercial transactions are still bogged down by paper-based processes, with checks firmly in use, invoices being manually approved, and payments being sent through the mail.

That means that middle-market companies — with fewer resources at their disposal — find that their payment processing costs are higher.

“The push/pull between buyers and suppliers is an eternal one,” PYMNTS wrote May 7. “Buyers want to hang onto their cash as long as possible, while suppliers want to be paid as soon as possible… In a typical month, middle-market businesses receive 7.4% of their B2B payments late.”

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