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Keeping B2B Payments Moving with AP Payment Automation

A Payments First Approach

It’s well established that payments are mission-critical for any business. Yet, for B2B payments, trillions of dollars in payments are currently issued via paper checks.

While the recent pandemic has undoubtedly made it clear that businesses cannot continue to rely on paper-based payment methods, many companies may feel like they don’t have a choice.

In a matter of weeks, our world changed as offices closed due to mandatory shelter in place and social distancing orders. The effects of these closures sent shockwaves through the payments space as businesses large and small continue to scramble to implement business continuity plans to ensure that suppliers get paid on time.

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At OnPay Solutions, our mission for over ten years has been to improve the lives of finance professionals globally by eliminating paper from AP departments. We have worked diligently to digitize paper invoices and convert paper checks into ePayments, saving businesses over 85% on costs associated with antiquated payment processes.

This year our mission changed a little bit.

In light of recent events, we shifted our focus from beginning the AP automation process with digitizing payments and invoices to starting instead with emergency off-site check printing services for businesses in need. Even we chuckled at the irony of the situation. OnPay Solutions, the company that has worked tirelessly to kill the paper check in B2B payments, is now printing and mailing thousands of  checks a month.

While we stand by our core principles, sometimes you have to make adjustments to help those in need.

We knew firsthand how many AP departments would struggle because they were no longer able to easily print paper checks and receive paper invoices.

Like many other FinTech leaders, we had to act.

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We started by contacting all of our clients to ensure that they were aware of our commitment to getting their payments out on time - especially their more time-consuming paper checks. Unsurprisingly, our adapted solution garnered an extremely positive response. The most common question we received was how quickly we could have the solution implemented. Our answer was simple, as soon as they needed the service.

And we didn’t stop there.

We talked to new clients in the early stages of onboarding as well. Those conversations went great. They partnered with us to automate payments, and that’s exactly what we did. We simply changed the approach slightly and started by taking check printing off of their hands - just in time.

The coronavirus is making things difficult for everyone – personally and professionally. This crisis has forced businesses around the world to come up with temporary solutions on the fly. And, after the dust settles, we will all band together to implement permanent solutions to ensure we are unaffected by an event like this in the future.

For AP departments, that means putting AP automation and digitization at the top of the project board. Countless CFOs and AP Managers we’ve met over the last few months have all agreed on that. COVID-19 may be the catalyst for ending manual check printing and mailing in B2B payments. Migrating to a contactless payment process is imperative, and moving to a system that is online and automated can keep the wheels of a business and our whole economy turning.

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At the moment, long-term AP solutions like fully integrated No Touch Payments, eInvoicing and invoice automation may not be as crucial as ensuring current business operations remain unaffected by this pandemic. We believe that worrying about how the business is going to get a check out should be the last thing on anyone’s mind.

In the short term, taking a payments first approach might be the best thing for business continuity.

Eliminating paper in AP will continue to be a top priority for us, but helping businesses streamline payments will always be our primary objective. For now, we will gladly print checks and send them where they need to go.

A recent PYMNTS study outlined that only half of the AP departments in the U.S. have automation in place. We truly hope that 50% of businesses operating today aren’t meeting in parks to sign paper checks, heading into the office every week to print checks for payments or having invoices sent to personal addresses.

If your business is heavily reliant on check printing and paper-based processes, now is the perfect time to free yourself from those operational constraints.

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We’ll gladly take check printing off of your hands and convert your payment processes into digital ePayments in the process – in less than 30 days, while integrating with your current ERP. As a bonus – we’ll even run a vendor analysis to see how many of your current vendors have already opted into virtual card payments, creating an additional revenue stream for your business.

If done correctly, fully automated AP payments should look something like this:

  • Less than 10% of payments issued via paper check
  • 60% of payments issued via ACH
  • 30% or more of payments issued via virtual card (vCard)  or purchasing card (P-Card)

A few of our clients were lucky enough to automate their AP process right before the pandemic. You can check out their stories here: Client Success.

We were lucky to implement this program before the COVID-19 Pandemic. Prior to this, we were cutting manual checks and had to be in the office. This software allows us to be completely remote and still get payments out in a safe secure manner. - Steve Morrison, Controller | Connor Sport Court International

If you’d like to write your own success story, we’re here to help.

AP Automation with remote AP functionality is only a click away!

Get in touch!