Business is often about cultivating relationships – and partnering with the right people at the right time – while offering the right product for a particular market. This month, startups such as Tipalti have brought on three partners to extend value to its clients, while startups such as AvidXchange are deepening their existing relationships. At the same time, FitPay is gearing up to launch a contactless payment wearable, while DadeSystems, Modo, nanopay and Emailage are focused on the power of their products, as well as developments in their markets. Here is the latest news from startup-land in July.
It’s hard to go it alone: Tipalti’s mission is to automate the entire payables process. Therefore, the company partners with other firms that offer complementary services to extend value to its clients. For example, Tipalti provides early payment options to its clients’ suppliers, while Vindeo helps to finance those payments for the buyers who chose that option.
In terms of software, Tipalti’s system, in collaboration with Vindeo, automates the process of reaching out to suppliers to tell them that their payment has been approved, and asks them if they would like an early payment from the buyer for a discount to the face payment. The service seems to be gaining a following: So far, approximately 40 percent of suppliers have agreed to have an early payment.
After traditionally having a referral partner program, AvidXchange is deepening relationships with its partners by elevating four of its top strategic partners to reseller status. As a result, these partners can access wholesale pricing in selling AvidXchange to their customer base. SWK Technologies — the largest Sage partner in North America, with over 2,500 customers in the Sage enterprise resource planning (ERP) ecosystem — is among one of those new elevated partners.
AvidXchange Partner Alliance Manager Marc Palombo recently presented at the SWK Empower 2018 Conference to highlight some of the company’s key benefits, which finance teams in the small- to mid-market space can realize by using AvidXChange services.
To serve consumers who own bitcoin with a new payment device, FitPay is rolling out a new product dubbed Flip, which comes with a preloaded amount of U.S. dollars that are exchanged from the user’s existing cryptocurrency account. Consumers can then, in turn, use those dollars at millions of retail locations.
FitPay, a unit of NXT-ID, has conducted presales and plans to release the product in a couple of weeks. Along with the upcoming Flip launch, FitPay has partnered with musical artist Lil’ Flip for a contactless payment device that will feature artwork designed by the rapper and carry his branding.
Modo CEO Bruce Parker says it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the meaning of integrations and interoperability: Integrations are systems connected in the same way, while systems that are interoperable work together, but remain different.
The concept extends to those sorts of capabilities that come on credit card transactions, but not automated clearing house (ACH) transactions. If merchants need to put funds on hold, for example, they can think of that transaction as a card authorization. Modo, in turn, performs the equivalent function on the wallet, which might not be defined by the same term. As a result, Modo enables merchants to think that it's interacting with a card, when, in fact, Modo is working behind the scenes.
For many companies, 2018 is a year of regulatory change: In Canada, for example, there are proposed changes to the Canadian Payments Act that could result in the creation of a non-bank associate member role for Payments Canada. The move is significant, as the only members at the moment are financial institutions (FIs). As a result, the proposed change could open new doors for companies that are not FIs.
“This is designed to promote competition and innovation by supporting new entrants into the marketplace,” nanopay CEO Laurence Cooke told PYMNTS in an interview. In addition, Cooke said the change could encourage new products for the benefit of both consumers and the economy, while acting as a catalyst for change in the payments industry.
To expand its operations in the Canadian market, Emailage recently brought Julien Phipps onboard as a senior business development director. Phipps said that the expansion is “an opportunity for us to leverage the work that we’ve been doing with email at [the] core of our solution.”
While there is a huge appetite for FinTech companies in Canada to launch, they want to do so prudently. That’s where companies such as Emailage come in. “We’re seeing an opportunity to be part of their ecosystem at an early stage,” Phipps said, adding that email is not an afterthought in these platforms, but a key part of them from the get-go.
As electronic payments become more important for the enterprise, it would seem they might enable more efficiency for buyers and suppliers. DadeSystems President and CEO Bill Zayas said that is not always the case: The reason is that companies may have received a deposit through ACH, but the description about how companies should process the payment is typically decoupled from those payments and sent via email. This situation runs counter to a business’ desire to handle payments in a straight-through process, with as little operator or people intervention as possible, and where data and payments move together.
To fill this need, DadeSystems provides an automated machine learning solution to match the payments and invoices. It then provides a company with an integrated file, regardless of paper or electronic payments, which it can use in its ERP or accounting system for posting.