How ESA Reduced Past-Due Invoices by 73% in 3 Months

Engineering Sales Associates is a total solutions provider for compressed air and liquid filtration solutions.

Between issuing invoices, managing collections, and reconciling payments, accounts receivable (AR) professionals have their hands full. Throw in managing accounts payable on top of being the only resource for the business’ accounting needs, and you’d likely have a hard time keeping your head above water. 

That’s exactly the position Kathie Lampkin, Senior Accountant at Engineering Sales Associates (ESA), finds herself in. But despite her many responsibilities and sizeable workload, Kathie has managed to increase her organization’s efficiencies significantly, taking the company’s past-due invoices from 33% to 9% in just three months.

It’s a feat that’s earned Kathie and ESA the award for Largest Efficiency Gains in Versapay’s inaugural AR All-Star Awards. In this case study, we’ll show you how Kathie made it happen and share the tips and tools you can use to improve collections efforts and reduce past-due invoices within your own organization.

‏‏‎ ‎

‏‏‎ ‎

Plenty of money, but no sustainable way to collect it

Engineering Sales Associates is a total solutions provider for manufacturing companies using compressed air and liquid filtration in their operations, providing emergency and preventative maintenance services for air compressors, as well as rentals, equipment, and parts. 

The company’s accounting department was consolidated shortly after Kathie joined ESA in 2019, leaving her to inherit the company’s accounting processes in their entirety. At that time, staffing constraints made it difficult for ESA to stay on top of collections. Until December of 2020, some accounts were as late as 121 days past due on invoices.

An integrated workflow for sustainable, predictable cash flow

With all accounting processes now in her hands, Kathie was tasked with handling the company’s significant backlog of past-due invoices. The organization had set a goal of reducing past-due invoices by 50%, but Kathie’s ambition and drive empowered her to improve ESA’s collections efforts by a whopping 73% in just three months. 

‏‏‎ ‎

‏‏‎ ‎

These are the strategies that ensured ESA and Kathie’s success. 

‏‏‎ ‎

1. Integrating all your AR efforts into one system

Staying on top of collections is much easier when you can clearly view the status of all outstanding receivables. ESA’s accounts receivable efforts—invoicing, communication management, and payment processing—are all tied to their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Oracle NetSuite, where core functions like inventory management are also housed. Integrating their accounting processes within their ERP helps ESA avoid data reliability issues by establishing a single source of truth.

By leveraging Versapay’s seamless payments integration with NetSuite, ESA substantially reduced manual effort when collecting and reconciling incoming payments with their respective account.

‏‏‎ ‎

2. Invoicing online for faster collections and improved tracking

One thing ESA was already doing that helped speed up collections times was issuing all their invoices online through NetSuite. Doing all your invoicing online (especially through a dedicated software) makes it much easier to track and audit invoices. And if you haven’t yet been convinced to make the switch to digital, paper invoices cost you more than you might think—the cost of processing a single invoice is around $15 on average.

Knowing the specific date a customer received an invoice and referencing any terms that were agreed upon also gives you an upper hand. This allows Kathie to collect with more confidence, as the data she needs to perform her job is readily available. 

‏‏‎ ‎

3. Collaborating with customers in a structured and personable way

When Kathie first took over collections at ESA, she took a more structured approach, emailing customers to follow up on payments two to three times a week. She also set the foundation for a positive relationship with customers by tailoring her outreach based on whether initial contact had already been made. 

‏‏‎Kathie was able to further streamline collections and achieve such a significant reduction in past-due invoices by managing and tracking her communications with customers. The best way to simplify collections efforts and improve your chances of getting paid faster is to digitize your customer outreach. Tools that allow you to automate and track your communications over the cloud make it easier for both you and your customers to stay on top of unpaid invoices. 

‏‏‎ ‎

Native NetSuite integrations make payment reconciliation and authorization easy

For accounts receivable professionals, collecting on unpaid invoices is just one piece of the puzzle. Once payments are received, there’s the business of reconciling what’s in the bank with what’s in the books.

By integrating their payment processing within NetSuite with Versapay, Engineering Sales Associates minimizes manual efforts, as payments are reflected in the ERP automatically. Using Versapay’s native reporting functionality, Kathie can also confirm whether payments were successfully posted to the bank. 

Because credit card information is tokenized and securely saved within NetSuite when customers transact with ESA through Versapay’s NetSuite payment solution, Kathie also saves time when  manually rerunning a transaction (for instance, when a customer has two available credit cards and the wrong one was processed). She can reverse the original transaction and run the new one without the need to collect card information from the customer a second time. 

‏‏‎ ‎

Transform and scale your processes, not your labor

To streamline your accounting processes, you don’t need a large team. In fact, as ESA exemplifies, you can significantly improve efficiencies, accelerate cash flow, and slash past-due invoices with just one resourceful individual and the right ecosystem of software and processes. 

Setting specific targets when addressing challenges like collecting on unpaid invoices is also critical to your success, as it was for ESA. Like Kathie, our customers routinely find themselves surpassing their goals when they use our payments and cloud-based accounts receivable solutions. 

Learn more about our integrated payments solutions and how they can help you simplify payment acceptance and reduce processing costs here.

‏‏‎ ‎

‏‏‎ ‎

NetSuite and Embedded Payments: 6 Reasons Why it’s a Must-Have

Embedding your payments experience within NetSuite lets you efficiently process customer payments, offer diverse payment methods, lower your processing fees, automate manual processes, enhance security, and increase revenue. 

Over 24,000 businesses rely on Oracle NetSuite to streamline critical processes and support their growth. From enterprise resource planning (ERP) to financial tracking, ecommerce website hosting, inventory and supply chain management, and procurement and fulfillment, for many, the NetSuite ERP is synonymous with business operations.

Many businesses, however, are not using NetSuite for payment processing. Instead they are electing to run customer transactions through third-party applications. If you’re one of those businesses, you’re missing out on significant cost-savings, immense time-savings, and a host of other benefits that accompany a more tightly integrated, robust, embedded payment solution.  

By augmenting your NetSuite instance with a payment processing solution—one that’s built specifically for NetSuite and seamlessly embedded within it—you transform your ERP into a single source of truth for all accounting and financial activities. This helps you effectively centralize, streamline, and simplify your payment acceptance and substantially increase sales. Not to mention you won’t need to learn a new platform.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what integrated payments solutions are, what to look for in one, and six reasons why you should consider embedding your payments experience within NetSuite.  

‏‏‎ ‎

The benefits of using an integrated payments solution 

An integrated payments solution is a payment processing application that seamlessly embeds inside your ERP. There are a handful of solutions built specifically for NetSuite, ensuring you get complete visibility into your invoicing and payments process without ever having to leave your ERP. The allure of being able to securely invoice customers and process payments in lockstep with other enterprise operations applications should be a very attractive proposal to many businesses.  

Through this integration—as opposed to processing through a third-party, external application—you’re able to run customer transactions directly within your ERP, effectively creating a more controlled, predictable, and secure payments experience. 

And, beyond ensuring the payments experience is managed and maintained in-house, when leveraging a solution that integrates with NetSuite, you transform your accounts receivable team to drive efficiency, reduce costs, and accelerate cash flow.  

Here are the six most notable benefits to embedding your payments experience within NetSuite:  

1. Lower Processing Costs by up to 40% 

Controlling the payment experience and managing how sensitive customer information flows between entities in the payment processing ecosystem should be your number one priority. An integrated payment solution is designed to minimize your costs on a per-transactions basis, in some cases, up to 40%, by sending along more customer data with each transaction.  

What to look for: Credit card processing fees amount on average to 2% of every transaction. A payment processing solution that integrates directly with your ERP can send more customer data along with every transaction, helping to reduce your interchange fees. Embedded payment solutions that maintain their own B2B card processing card functionalities and proprietary payment gateways can also control more of the payment experience, meaning you’ll be less reliant on third-party applications. This often results in substantial savings, the acquisition of more customer data, and a much faster return on investment.  

2. Reduce Manual Processes by up to 50% 

Traditional accounting collections processes are rooted in manual activities. Unfortunately, this costs you not only money, but time as well. An embedded payment solution alleviates these concerns by saving you the trouble of moving information from one system to another. After all, true efficiency is achieved when manual processes are automated.  

What to look for: When settlement data is natively captured and stored within an embedded payments solution, you’re able to perform payment reconciliation in real-time—saving the effort of tracking down files and having to manually match payments with bank statements. This can mean reducing manual processes by up to 50%. A payment solution that automates the reconciliation process ensures you’re able to streamline accounts receivable operations and maximize efficiency through a reduced collections workload. Other functionality to seek includes automated invoicing solutions, integrated collections tools, and the ability to eliminate lapses in payments due to expired card information.  

‏‏‎ ‎

3. Drive Incremental Sales 

Your customers are demanding a more convenient, flexible billing and payment experience—one where they’re in control and that does away with paper-based payments. To capitalize on increased digital shopping activity and capture more revenue, you’ll want to provide your customers the ability to pay how they want by offering a diverse suite of payment options. 

What to look for: An integrated payment solution that empowers you to accept various payment methods—including credit, debit, ACH, virtual cards, checks, bank payments, Apple Pay, and PayPal—in one place is key to accelerating cash flow and significantly reducing the time it takes to collect payment. Customers have strong preferences to how they’d like to pay and are more likely to complete a transaction if their preferred payment method is present. With the average cart abandonment rate hovering around 70%, for many merchants, offering a diversity of payment options can be the difference between closing a sale or facing an influx in abandoned shopping carts.  

4. Start Accepting Payments Today 

Your customers expect a payment experience that’s seamless and easy to use. Why should setting up your payment processing solution be any different? The digitization of accounts receivable workflows is often inhibited by a lack of IT resources and infrastructure required for support. Pair that with many third-party payment solutions requiring you to be well-versed in their environments and forcing you to interact with them on their terms, and the prospect of hitting the ground running is suddenly out of reach. 

This antiquated way of thinking results in a slower time-to-market, meaning you’re spending more time onboarding and less time collecting payments. An embedded payment solution tackles this issue head on. By being seamlessly integrated within your existing ERP, you’re able to start collecting payments from your customers quickly and across all sales channels.  

What to look for: Some embedded payment solutions are built-for-NetSuite. A solution that possesses a native integration will look, feel, and operate like NetSuite more so than one that doesn’t. It also means there’ll be no set up fees, no implementation costs, and no hassle. All you’ll need to worry about is which customer will pay you first.  

5. Avoid Payment Fraud 

Payment fraud is widespread, yet many security vulnerabilities are highly preventable. When accepting payments digitally, you need to be vigilant throughout the entire order-to-cash process—from the moment a transaction is initiated, through to when cash is finally collected. An integrated payment solution will allow you to securely process orders and transmit sensitive customer data from external systems directly into your ERP.  

What to look for: An integrated payment solution provider that uses its own proprietary gateway, integrates with popular shopping carts—so that transactions are fast and secure—and offers competitive merchant services is critical to protecting you and your customers. Look for one that’s PCI DSS compliant and encrypts and tokenizes credit card data, so that your team never sees transaction data, ensuring you remain compliant and prevent sensitive data from being accessed by fraudsters.  

6. Reduce Risk and Chargebacks 

An embedded payment solution reduces much of the inherent risks associated with accepting digital payments. It protects you and your customers and eliminates fraudulent chargebacks without dictating how your customers need to pay or making the checkout experience more difficult than necessary.  

What to look for: The most sophisticated embedded payment solutions come equipped with advanced fraud management tools that help merchants and customers circumvent fraud’s muddy waters. A payment solution with a strong risk management engine and track record of preventing fraud—one that detects and prevents ecommerce and credit card fraud for online and card-not present transactions, while offering protection against chargebacks—will give you peace of mind and let you focus on getting paid and growing your business.

‏‏‎ ‎

Seamless payments integration with NetSuite 

Rising expectations on how buyers and sellers should engage are impacting the entire transaction process, prompting B2B companies to seek a more favorable payment experience (for both supplier and customer)—one that’s seamless and embedded within their ERPs. Versapay’s Solupay Built for NetSuite solution integrates seamlessly with NetSuite to reduce manual processes, lower costs, eliminate fraud, and increase sales.

The ability to offer a superior customer experience, paired with the increase in back-office efficiencies is the competitive advantage an integrated payment solution promises. And augmenting your NetSuite ERP with a seamlessly integrated payment processing solution is the catalyst for the transformation your finance team—and your customers—have been asking for . 

‏‏‎ ‎

‏‏‎ ‎

What Are the Top Payment Methods Used for B2B Transactions?

Never have customers had such control over how they pay, and never have suppliers had to deliver a payment experience as seamless and personalized as they do now. 

There’s a clear precedent being set—customers see the payment experience as a key component in the overall commerce experience. Because of this, suppliers are investigating how offering a diverse suite of payment methods can provide their customers with a more streamlined and convenient payment experience

In doing this, suppliers also realize that giving their customers more flexibility in how they pay, they’re able to achieve a competitive advantage by enabling lower processing costs, speeding up payment times, and better protecting sensitive customer data.   

But where do you start? With so many possible payment methods for B2B transactions, each with their own implications for accounts receivable (AR) processes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and choose to stick with tried-and-true—but dated—options like the check.  

In order to provide payment experiences on par with those in the B2C realm (which customers increasingly expect), B2B businesses need to understand the different types of B2B payment methods in use, the differences between each one, and which methods are more advantageous—for both you and your customer—than others.  

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of payment methods commonly used for B2B transactions and the advantages digital and smart payments have over traditional payments. We’ll even offer a glimpse into what to expect for the future of B2B payments.  

‏‏‎ ‎

What types of payments are used in B2B?  

In B2B buying experiences the supplier usually issues an invoice instead of collecting payment at the time of purchase. An invoice indicates the products and quantities sold or value of services provided to the buyer. In this case, payment terms—details of when payments are due—would be outlined on the invoice. 

There are many ways suppliers and merchants collect payments from their customers. These payment methods can be grouped into three main categories: traditional payments, digital payments, and smart payments.  

Traditional payments 

Checks – Checks are still a widely used payment method for B2B transactions, responsible for 42 percent of transactions in 2019. It is a written, dated, and signed document—prepared by the customer—that directs a bank to pay a specific amount of money to the supplier. 

Money Order – Similar to the check, a money order is a paper form of payment. Where it differs from a check is  that payment in this form is guaranteed, meaning a money order will not bounce. Money orders are purchased in advance using another guaranteed form of payment—cash or some equivalent—and then provided to a recipient. Money orders are typically limited to smaller dollar amounts—usually less than $1,000. 

Cash – Cash is a legal tender that is used in exchange of goods, debt, or services. It’s most often recognizable  in its physical form—banknotes and coins. For as long as goods and services have been traded, cash has been used. Note that cash may also refer to other forms of currency that are easily accessible and can be quickly turned into physical cash.  

Payment-in-Kind – Payment-in-kind can be thought of as the modern-day equivalent of the barter system. It’s the use of goods or services as payment in place of cash. Heads up—taking advantage of bartering doesn’t make you exempt from taxes. Those who receive income through payment-in-kind still need to report it on their income tax returns. 

Digital payments 

Debit – A debit transaction occurs when your bank account is debited, most often with a debit card. Once the bank has been electronically notified of an online transaction using your debit card, it puts a hold on your account for the exact amount of the transaction. The merchant or supplier than sends the bank the transaction details, and once those have been reviewed, the bank then transfers the money in your account to the supplier.  

Credit – A credit can generally be thought of as an agreement between a lender and a borrower. The borrower—often the customer—will receive a sum of money from a lender to pay for goods or services. That money must be repaid to the lender at a later date—often with interest. That’s the difference between credit and debit payments—payments made with a debit card, are deducted right away, whereas payments made with a credit card go on your line of credit, indicating that the funds will be paid later. 

Prepaid Cards – A prepaid card functions like a gift card. It’s an alternative to cash that allows you to spend whatever monetary value is stored on the card—be it a physical or digital card. A prepaid card may be reloaded once its balance is used up. In many instances, the recipient of your prepaid card payment will be unaware that the card was prepaid.  

Charge Cards – A charge card is very similar in structure and functionality to a credit card, however, there are some unique differences. The primary being that a charge card carries no interest but requires the user to pay its balance in its entirety when the statement is received. Charge cards are typically only issued for borrowers with excellent credit scores. It’s crucial that charge cards are paid in full each month as missed payments can significantly impact credit score.  

Virtual Cards—As the name suggests, virtual cards are a virtual version of a credit card. No plastic, no chips, no PINs. Buyers enjoy them because they offer improved security, better control, and complete transaction details. Suppliers don’t tend to favor this payment method given that they must manually plug the card details into their point-of-sale (POS) system or virtual terminal. Thankfully, there are solutions that can provide straight-through-processing for virtual cards and integrate with suppliers’ Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to input remittance data automatically, making this payment method a more appealing option.  

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – An EFT is an electronic transfer of funds from one bank account to another. The transfer can either be performed within a single financial institution or can be made between multiple. EFTs are sent using computer-based systems, requiring no direct intervention from bank staff.  

Automated Clearing House (ACH) – An ACH is an EFT system run by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) in the United States. An ACH payment moves funds electronically—from one bank to another—through the ACH network. This network connects every single US financial institution, giving them the ability to transfer money from one bank to another safely and quickly.  

Direct Deposit – Using EFT systems, funds may be deposited electronically into a bank account rather than through physical means—like checks. The deposit itself takes place between banks, and because the transfer happens online, the recipient’s account is credited automatically and often instantaneously, meaning there is no waiting period for money to clear. Direct deposits are most frequently used as a means of depositing paychecks and tax refunds.  

Digital Wallet – Digital wallets—also known as e-wallets—are software systems that securely store payment information for a variety of payment methods. Customers can leverage digital wallets to store funds, easily make purchases, and track payment history. The use of digital wallets on mobile systems means customers can make payments using their smartphones. Digital wallets essentially eliminate the need for physical wallets as all payment information is stored securely and compactly—no more bulky leather wallets.   

Smart payments 

Smart payments take the transaction process one step further than simply moving funds from the sender to the recipient by carrying critical business information alongside the payment itself. This is particularly helpful for AR teams as it gives them the data needed to easily reconcile incoming payments with their corresponding invoice.  

According to“In the smarter payments ecosystem, payments are more than simply moving funds from sender to recipient. These transactions are also about the transfer of data that can inform and improve the payments process.” 

Smart payments can be made via one of the digital payment methods mentioned earlier, the difference is the environment where the payment is made. With payments made through an online portal powered by a SaaS solution or via an integrated payments solution connected to your ERP, supporting data can be captured at the same time as the payment, which can vastly simplify how B2B transactions are carried out. 

‏‏‎ ‎

What are the advantages of digital and smart payments over traditional payments?  

Although writing checks is still ubiquitous with making payments, customers no longer find convenience in using them. They’re prolonged use is due to the fact that many businesses have not transformed their AR departments to be able to accept modern payment methods that are preferred by their customers. Despite checks remaining  the dominant B2B payment method, the volume of businesses using them is rapidly decreasing. The same survey we referenced earlier also reported that financial professionals believe that by 2022, a majority of payments to suppliers will be made via electronic payments.  

As checks and other traditional paper-based payment methods begin to disappear, it’s imperative that businesses make it easy for their customers to pay in the way that best suits their needs. 

Everything is shifting online, and your customers have come to expect flexibility and control when doing business with you—two things that digital payments give them.  

For companies looking to transform through digitization, smart payments eliminate one of the major challenges preventing suppliers from incentivizing customers’ use of digital payments—cash application. 

For electronic payment methods like ACH, the payment must be matched with remittance data separately, creating a lot of manual work for AR staff. Smart payments remove much of the manual work linked with matching remittance data to electronic payments, ensuring an efficient experience for both customer and supplier. 


What does the future hold for B2B payments? 

What the last few years have shown us is that the B2B purchasing experience is on track to take place entirely online by the end of the decade. So, while it’s generally considered good business to offer customers multiple payment options, it’ll become necessary to do so sooner rather than later.  

Now that you know which payment methods are typically used in B2B and why electronic payments are more advantageous than traditional payments, you can take steps improve the payment experience for both your customers and back-office.  

‏‏‎ ‎

Versapay Enhances Customer Experience With New Unified Product Architecture

Toronto, ON—June 15, 2021—Versapay Corporation, a leading provider of cloud-based payments and accounts receivable automation solutions, announced new advancements to its technology stack that will improve the customer experience for users across its suite of products. With $200 million in private equity funding from parent company Great Hill Partners (who acquired Versapay last year), the company has integrated its four previously distinct products into a unified platform that will give its customers access to Versapay’s full spectrum of capabilities ranging from mid-market to enterprise.

With this advancement, users of Oracle NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Sage Intacct can leverage Versapay’s complete product suite as a single platform for omni-channel payment acceptance and end-to-end cloud-based accounts receivable automation and deploy the entire solution in days.

“We strive to identify highly differentiated software companies serving fragmented markets,” said Matt Vettel, a Managing Partner at Great Hill. “The advancements Versapay is making to their products positions them to be highly competitive in the rapidly growing market for accounts receivable solutions.”

The unified platform will enable Versapay to develop features for its entire customer base faster. It also allows for increased sharing of data and services across products, making it easy for customers to subscribe to additional capabilities and transact with more companies on the Versapay Network.

“We’re extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made bringing our products together into a single platform,” said Versapay’s Chief Technology Officer Phil Pettinato. “We’re now in a position to offer a more consistent experience to all our customers while advancing our platform’s capabilities faster.”

“The unification of our product architecture represents a major step in our mission to power the next generation of B2B digital payments through the Versapay Network,” said Versapay’s Chief Executive Officer Craig O’Neill.

About Versapay

Versapay is focused on transforming the accounts receivable process and accelerating cash flow by connecting AR teams with their customers over the cloud. Through the Versapay Network we make billing and payments easy for buyers and sellers, reducing costs and eliminating paper, checks, and manual business processes. Based in Toronto with offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, Baltimore, LA, and Las Vegas, Versapay is owned by Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based technology investment firm.

Chargebacks Are Up 25%—Here’s How To Protect Your Business From Fraud

When retail stores closed as a result of COVID-19 and millions of consumers around the world stayed home for months at a time, it came as no surprise that online sellers enjoyed a surge in ecommerce shopping.  

Just in the United States, consumers spent $861.1 billion online in 2020. That’s a 44% increase compared to 2019. Overall, online channels represented 21.3% of total consumer retail spending last year. 

‏‏‎ ‎

Surge in online shopping presents chargeback risks to buyers 

Even as brick-and-mortar stores re-open, more consumers are finding that they enjoy the ease and convenience of online shopping, as well as other remote channels like click-and-collect. They now view the online purchasing experience as an integral component of the overall customer experience. That’s great news for digital retailers, but we must remember that new opportunities go hand in hand with new challenges—namely, the advent of chargebacks.

Chargebacks generally occur when a cardholder contacts their issuing bank and disputes a charge. The cardholder could claim that there was an error on the merchant’s part, or that the transaction was unauthorized. 2020 saw a surge of chargeback issuances coinciding with the boom in ecommerce activity. 

Chargebacks are an important consumer protection mechanism. Over the last decade, though, more and more cardholders have abused the process through a practice known as friendly fraud. The recently-released 2021 Chargeback Field Report found that the average merchant noted a 21% year-over-year increase in friendly fraud between 2018 and 2021—in addition to the 25% increase in chargeback issuances due to COVID-19. 

But where do friendly fraud chargebacks come from? In effect, any chargeback filed without a valid reason falls under this heading, so it’s important to clarify what constitutes a valid chargeback source. In this blog, we’ll cover:  

  • The fundamental causes and originating sources of chargebacks 
  • How merchants can prevent chargebacks in a post-pandemic marketplace 
  • Why some legitimate chargebacks might still slip through your defenses 

‏‏‎ ‎

What are the 3 fundamental chargeback sources? 

1) Criminal fraud chargeback 

A criminal fraud chargeback occurs when a bad actor uses cardholder information to make an unauthorized purchase. They may deploy a variety of tactics, including account takeover, identity theft, phishing, smishing (SMS phishing), or domain squatting to facilitate the scheme.  

2) Merchant error chargeback 

Alternatively, a merchant error chargeback can occur after a merchant fails to provide the goods or services promised under the conditions agreed upon at the time of purchase. For instance, if the merchandise is not shipped in a timely manner, or if the goods that arrive do not reflect what was promised.

3) Friendly fraud 

Chargebacks that fall outside these bounds could be considered friendly fraud. Common friendly fraud sources include buyer’s remorse, transactions submitted by a relative of the cardholder (called family fraud), or confusion on the customer’s part about merchant policies. Still, there are some situations in which cardholders deliberately abuse the chargeback process and file claims to try and “get something for free.” This is a practice referred to as cyber shoplifting. 

Regardless of what ultimately triggered the dispute, the result is the same: you lose revenue and merchandise, and increase overhead costs like shipping and interchange fees. You also get hit with additional fees per every chargeback filed.

Chargeback losses can add up over time and become a substantial drain on your bottom line. Plus, each chargeback negatively impacts your chargeback ratio—the number of chargebacks-to-transactions—which can jeopardize your entire business over time. 

Friendly fraud was forecast to cost merchants up to $50 billion in 2020. That projection was made before the COVID-19 outbreak—given that incidents of friendly fraud more than doubled between January and June 2020, the actual total is probably much higher. 

‏‏‎ ‎

How to prevent chargebacks in a post-pandemic marketplace 

COVID-19 played a major role in accelerating the chargeback problem. But regardless, chargebacks are a larger trend that stretch back more than a decade. Short-term changes adopted by the major card networks can relieve some pressure on merchants. However, outdated chargeback practices are still out of touch with the current state of the market. 

That all begs the question: what can you do about this problem? How can you prevent chargebacks in a post-pandemic marketplace?  

You can’t necessarily rely on chargeback reason codes, because friendly fraud relies specifically on hiding behind false reason codes. So, the key is to avoid chargeback activity in the first place and defend your business from fraud by addressing the true source of chargebacks. 

You can address criminal fraud by adopting a multilayer fraud management strategy. The following practices are instrumental in reducing the risk of fraudulent chargebacks: 

  • CVV verification 
  • Address Verification Service (AVS) 
  • Geolocation 
  • Velocity limits 
  • Fraud blacklists 
  • 3-D Secure 2.0 technology 

These should all be backed by fraud scoring, which can examine all fraud indicators, gauge the relative risk of each transaction, and provide up-or-down automatic decisioning. You can then choose to subject these transactions to manual review or reject them outright. 

You can also work to eliminate merchant error chargebacks by addressing the triggers that commonly cause them. These include: 

  • Unrecognizable billing descriptors 
  • Inaccessible or unresponsive customer service 
  • Policies and terms that are confusing or difficult-to-understand 
  • Waiting too long to submit transactions for processing 

Again, these are just a few examples. Chargebacks911 has identified dozens of potential triggers that may result in a chargeback. 

‏‏‎ ‎

Can friendly fraud be avoided? 

No strategy is foolproof. Some legitimate chargebacks may still slip through your defenses. But, once you’ve addressed criminal fraud and merchant errors, many of your remaining disputes should be cases of friendly fraud. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to reliably eliminate friendly fraud. A friendly fraud case appears to be a legitimate sale until the moment the buyer disputes it. There are some practices, though, which can help prevent friendly fraud chargebacks and minimize long-term risk. 

1) Notifying buyers before processing recurring payments 

Before processing a first rebill after an initial authorization, you should send an email communication to remind the customer about the upcoming charge. An additional touch, such as an SMS message, is also recommended if that’s an option. This will allow you to avoid a situation in which a cardholder disputes the rebill as an unfamiliar charge. 

2) Maintaining organized transaction records 

You should keep all transaction information systematized for easy recall. This will help provide a quick response in the event of a customer inquiry and prevent a dispute.  

3) Providing tracking information and delivery confirmation 

Many customers file disputes because an item fails to arrive in the anticipated timeframe, and so they start to believe it’s not coming. Tracking information, as well as delivery confirmation, can help prevent these situations by giving customers better insight as to where their goods are located at any given time. Delivery confirmation can also be very helpful later in the event of a dispute. 

4) Quickly replying to any questions, comments, or refund requests 

Fast and responsive customer service can help you intercept inquiries and disputes before they become chargebacks. By simplifying the payment experience and closely collaborating with your customers throughout the entire billing and payment process, you can get paid faster

When merchants receive friendly fraud chargebacks, they can engage with them through the representment process. The merchant literally “re-presents” the transaction to the bank, along with evidence to refute the buyer’s claim and prove that the original transaction was legitimate and should be upheld. This may include anything from printouts of email conversations to delivery confirmation, or even photographic proof of in-store pickup. 

You can’t dispute every chargeback, though. Some legitimate chargeback claims may still slip through your defences. This is why you can’t simply automate the dispute process—even though artificial intelligence and machine learning are useful tools, manual review and human oversight in an integral component.

Chargebacks—those resulting from friendly fraud in particular—were a problem for merchants before the pandemic and they’re going to continue to be a problem moving forward. Merchants need to take this matter seriously and start implementing practices to address chargebacks now before the problem gets out of hand. 

‏‏‎ ‎

Versapay Named Most Promising Payment and Card Solution Provider of 2021

Payment and card technology is fast evolving to facilitate seamless transactions. Not only for the banking sector, but also for retailers, merchants, and other businesses looking to harness the power of contactless cards and mobile payments to increase AR productivity, drive efficiency, and accelerate cash flow.    

To assist businesses in leveraging card technology to further enhance the customer experience, CIOReview—a leading technology magazine for C-suite executives looking to share valuable insights and stay up-to-date on the ever-evolving business environment—has compiled a list of the most innovative and promising companies providing payment and card solutions. 

Versapay is honored to be included among the 20 most promising payment and card solution providers making significant contributions to the growth and transformation of the payments sector.  

‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎

‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎

Streamlining and optimizing B2B transactions with collaboration and next-gen payments 

The revolution in digital technology and shift towards ecommerce and digital payment methods has dramatically changed how companies operate, and has exposed the limitations of paper-based workflows.  

Today’s leading companies have revised how they approach accounts receivable, and want solutions that help digitize, automate, and optimize their order-to-cash cycle while driving major improvements in efficiency and cash flow.  

But to reach what CIOReview describes as the helm of success, businesses need to do more than simply adopt digital payments. The best way to truly streamline accounts receivable operations, drive digital adoption, lower processing costs, speed up payment cycles, and protect sensitive customer data, is to follow a collaborative approach, where information can be shared between buyers and sellers over the cloud in a secure and shared portal.  

Versapay’s accounts receivable platform enables AR departments and customers to collaborate over the cloud using a powerful, easy-to-use self-service portal. This ensures a superior customer experience, greater efficiency, and accelerated cash flow. We move beyond automating businesses’ back-office operations to help them focus on their customers at every touchpoint in real time. We streamline the entire engagement, grant customers seamless visibility into their accounts, empower them to pay digitally, and enable businesses to accept various payment methods.  

“Our platform serves as an all-inclusive AR solution that covers the entire payment cycle—from invoicing to cash application,” says Craig O’Neill, CEO at Versapay. 

‏‏‎You can read the full report from CIOReview here. You’ll learn more about Versapay’s automated accounts receivable and payment solution, the benefits of an end-to-end collaborative payment solution, the importance of increasing collaboration between buyers and suppliers, and why CIOReview has included us as one of their Most Promising Payment and Card Solution Providers of 2021. 

‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎

How To Save Up to 40% on Credit Card Processing Fees With Interchange Optimization

Offering your customers a variety of payment options has many advantages, like the potential to increase your revenue by nearly 30%. But of course, accepting payment methods like credit cards comes with a price. Think of it as a tradeoff—in return for giving your customers the convenience of paying by credit card, you accept that you’ll pay fees on every transaction.

With credit card processing fees amounting on average to 2% of every transaction, many businesses are hesitant to push credit card payments. Thankfully, merchants can reduce their processing fees and reap the associated benefits through interchange optimization.

In this blog, we’ll cover how credit card processing works, what interchange fees are, how interchange optimization works, and how partnering with the right integrated payment processor can considerably reduce your credit card processing fees.

‏‏‎ ‎

How does credit card processing work?

When a customer makes a purchase with a credit card—via an ecommerce site, a point-of-sale (POS) system, a click-to-pay invoice, or by phone—the transaction goes through a payment gateway. The payment gateway is the channel of communication that securely transmits the payment data to the payment processor (the entity executing the transaction) for approval.

Behind the scenes, the payment processor then connects with the card brands (for example Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover) to authorize the transaction. The issuing bank (the cardholder’s bank, who supplied them with the credit card) approves or denies the transaction and sends that message back to the processor.

Once the payment processor has that approval, they fund the merchant. The issuing bank sends the funds through the payment processor to the merchant’s bank (the acquiring bank), who then pays the merchant.

A simplified look at payment processing
A simplified look at payment processing.

For their role in carrying out the entire payment process, each player takes a fee, which gets bundled in the rate a merchant pays to their payment processor.

  • Authorization fee: collected by the gateway
  • Transaction fee: collected by the processor
  • Assessment fee: collected by the card network (the inherent fees of transmitting the payment information, which you can think of like a toll booth)
  • Interchange fees: collected by the issuing bank
The fees involved in processing a credit card transaction
The fees involved in processing a credit card transaction.

The extent of these fees all vary. Of the average 2% of every transaction, the authorization fee at the gateway will account for 3%, the processor’s fee will account for 7%, the assessment fee will account for 10%, and the interchange fees will account for the vast majority at around 80%.

All the various fees involved with processing a payment represent different pieces of the pie
All the various fees involved with processing a payment represent different pieces of the pie.

‏‏‎ ‎

What are interchange fees?

Interchange is what’s paid to the issuing bank (the cardholder’s bank) by the acquiring bank (the merchant’s bank) to cover any costs associated with the risk involved in approving the payment.

Interchange rates are decided by the card brands and are regularly updated (Visa and Mastercard adjust their rates twice a year, in April and October). Each card brand sets their interchange rates differently, amounting to over 300 different levels of interchange between all the card networks.

There are many factors that impact the level of interchange on a transaction, some that are in the realm of your control as a merchant and some that are not. These include:

  • The card type (e.g., debit, travel rewards, purchasing, corporate, etc.): Credit cards are considered higher risk than debit cards with PINs, so they have higher rates. Rewards cards have higher rates to pay for the perks their users enjoy.
  • The way the card was processed (e.g., whether it was swiped, keyed, or chipped): How a credit card is processed will dictate how risky the transaction is. For instance, a card that was chipped or accompanied by a signature at a POS carries less risk than a purchase made with card-not-present (CNP).
  • The data sent along with the transaction: Sending additional details about the transaction helps the card issuer know that the transaction is less risky. What we call Level 2 and Level 3 processing are what help transactions qualify for a lower interchange rate.

‏‏‎ ‎

What is interchange optimization?

Some aspects of interchange fees can be influenced, others can’t. The amount of data you send along with each transaction is something you can control, with help from the right payment processor. The practice of fine-tuning the conditions of a transaction according to best practices to qualify for the lowest interchange rates possible is what’s known as interchange optimization.

Given that interchange represents the largest portion of merchants’ processing fees (these are all wrapped up in the merchant discount, which is what the merchant pays to the processor and includes other costs like POS terminals and customer support), reducing interchange fees will have the biggest impact on your overall costs.

With Level 2 and Level 3 processing, you send additional data to the issuing bank about the transaction that tells them this payment is lower risk. The more data you can provide about a transaction, the better. With Level 3 credit processing you get the highest volume of supporting information, including data like the merchant’s industry (some industries have higher rates), where the product is shipping to and from, the invoice number, and the line-item details of that invoice.

‏‏‎ ‎

How integrated payments help with interchange optimization

When payment processing services integrate seamlessly with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform—such as NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, or Sage Intacct—there’s a distinct advantage for interchange optimization.

The depth of integration that solutions like Versapay afford makes it easy to automatically send that precious data along with the transaction, with no extra effort for you, the merchant. Because information like your customers’ invoice number, number of items purchased, sales tax, and customer code already lives within your ERP, you can easily qualify for much lower interchange rates by layering payment processing on top of your existing system.

Making credit card payments more accessible to business-to-business (B2B) buyers should be a top priority for businesses, as buyer behavior has trended exponentially towards digital channels, and B2B buyers increasingly expect their payment experiences to reflect the convenience of the consumer world.‏‏‎

‏‏‎ ‎

How Versapay helps you save on credit card processing costs

Understanding how credit card processing costs work will make it easier to evaluate payment processors and find the offering that works best for your unique business. If your customers are primarily other companies, you process payments with high dollar amounts, and you’re already using an ERP, then a solution that offers integrated payments and Level 3 data processing is a natural fit.

Before you start working with Versapay, we complete a detailed cost analysis of your most recent merchant statement. We look at everything you’re paying now and where you can qualify for better rates, breaking down everything by line item and showing you your potential savings, right down to the penny.

When you process payments through Versapay, you can save up to 40% on your overall cost of acceptance through our unique integrations with your ERP. We can provide you with interchange optimization on a transactional level and offer reauthorization management, Level 2, and Level 3 processing seamlessly and automatically.

Want to learn more about how interchange optimization works and how we perform detailed costs analyses? Check out our webinar “How Interchange Optimization Achieves Faster ROI,” available on-demand now.

‏‏‎ ‏‏‎ ‎

‏‏‎ ‎

What is an Invoice?

An invoice is a legal document issued by a supplier—or merchant—to a buyer, which itemizes the details of a purchase. It lists the products or services sold in exchange for payment the charges associated with each item, and when payment is due. Issuing an invoice is the first step to collecting payment. It helps establish an obligation on behalf of the buyer to pay their supplier and serves as proof of debt owed.  

Invoices are commonly distributed in business-to-business (B2B) transactions and will typically be issued after the buyer has received their goods or services, but before payment has been made. 

There are two key parties involved in the invoicing process—the supplier or merchant issuing the invoice and the buyer paying the invoice.  

Businesses want to get paid on time. When a company’s accounts receivable (AR) department makes the decision to issue invoices, they’re taking on risk by allowing payment to be deferred until a later date. This is why it’s important businesses have a strong understanding of not only what invoices are, but how they work and when to use them. Knowing the main properties of an invoice will help businesses better understand the entire invoicing process and feel confident in creating, analyzing, and distributing invoices to their customers.  

On the flip side, to approve, process, and deliver timely payment, the buyer’s accounts payable (AP) department must also know what to look for and how to analyze the invoices it receives.  

In this article, we’ll discuss the following to help you learn more about invoices: 

  • When you should use an invoice. 
  • How you can create an invoice. 
  • The elements that comprise an invoice. 
  • How you can analyze invoice data.  
  • The departments that handle invoices. 
  • The differences between invoices, bills, and receipts. 

‏‏‎ ‎

When should you use an invoice?

Invoices are used when payment is collected by a supplier or merchant at a later date. For purchases where payment is received at the time an order is made (in ecommerce for instance), invoices wouldn’t be used.  

For businesses supplying products, you would issue an invoice once delivery has been completed. For service-oriented businesses, you would issue an invoice once the service has been provided.  

Invoices are a critical aspect of supplier operations, but they’re also very important documents for the businesses or individuals receiving them as they document their transactions for their own accounts payable purposes. Invoices can also be used as systems of record in the event purchases require disputing. 

‏‏‎ ‎

How do you create an invoice?  

The first step in creating an invoice, is to generate an invoice number—also known as an ‘Invoice ID’. This is the unique number assigned to every invoice you create and typically appears at the top of the invoice. This element is crucial as it lets you easily identify individual buyer transactions and distinguish new invoices from those you’ve previously sent.  

The invoice number may include any combination of numbers and letters and isn’t required to be ordered sequentially. You should, however, be consistent in how you identify your invoices and ensure you never assign an invoice number more than once to avoid any duplications and future bookkeeping errors. 

Beyond generating a unique invoice number, here are six key steps we recommend following to create an invoice like this one: 

An example of an invoice, demonstrating what an invoice might look like.
  1. Mark your invoice clearly 

    The average time it takes to collect on receivables is 41.56 days. To give yourself every opportunity to shorten that window, you’ll want to make sure your customers know your invoice is an invoice. When your invoice is clearly marked as one, customers are less likely to miss it in their inbox, making it more likely you collect payment on time. It could be as simple as writing “Invoice” at the top of the document.  
  1. Include your business name and information 

    Clearly list your business’ name, address, and contact information on your invoice. Be sure to include the name of the customer you’re invoicing, their address, and the name of your contact there so you can ensure the invoice reaches the right person.  
    The average dollar value for unpaid invoices per small business in the US is $84,000. Much of this is due to  customers simply forgetting to pay, or not receiving the invoice to begin with. Prevent this issue entirely by making sure your invoices get into the hands of your customers right away.  
  1. Include a description for the goods or services you’re charging for 
    You’ll want to clearly detail in the description section of the invoice what your customers are paying for. Your descriptions don’t need to be long but should be thorough enough for your customers to understand what they’ve purchased. Be sure to include the quantity of items you’re charging the customer for and the prices you’ve agreed on. 
  1. Include your dates 
    Two key dates should be included on your invoice: the supply date—or the date you provided the goods or services to your customer—and the date you created the invoice. The supply date gives clarity into when a purchase actually took place, while the invoice creation date is the more important record here as it represents the day on which this transaction was officially recorded. 

    This date dictates the credit duration for your customers—an important fact when offering them terms like Net 30—and the due date of the invoice itself (typically 30 days after the invoice date). Mark this date clearly on the invoice, so your customer knows when they are expected to complete their payment. 
  1. Total the money owed 
    In addition to listing the itemized values for each good or service your buyer purchases, make sure you also include the total due  at the bottom of the invoice. This will make it clearer to the customer what amount you’re expecting payment for. If you’re honoring any discounts, be sure the total amount reflects this adjustment (i.e., show the original amount minus the amount of the discount and the new total amount). 
  1. Highlight the payment terms 
    You and your customer will have agreed to some specific payment terms prior to completing your transaction. It’s a good idea to remind your customer of these terms on the invoice itself (e.g., 30 days, 60 days, etc.). Pro tip, if you’re looking to get paid faster, set your payment terms so that they align with your customer’s expectations.  
    You may also want to include exactly how you would like to receive the funds (e.g., credit card, ACH, check, bank transfer, etc.). Although, it’s good practice to offer your customer a diverse set of payment methods.  

‏‏‎ ‎

How do you analyze invoice data? 

If you’re a buyer, when you receive an invoice from a vendor, there are five key things you can look at to understand its contents. We’ve numbered each of them on the sample invoice below.  

An example of an invoice that's marked with 5 identifiers including the vendor's contact information, purchase order number, invoice number, description and pricing, and payment terms.
  1. Vendor’s contact information 

    The invoice you receive should clearly display your supplier’s name, their mailing address (if sending payment by mail), the name of your contact, their email address and phone number, and finally your supplier’s bank details. You will need all this information to know where to send your payment. 
  1. The purchase order number 

    The purchase order number lets your accounts payable department know whether you’ve previously authorized the transaction you’re being billed for. Your AP department will use this number to match the invoice to the original purchase order and complete the payment.  
  1. Invoice number 

    The invoice number on an invoice is created by your supplier and serves as a reference for the payment they will receive once you complete the transaction. When your AP department pays the invoice, the original purchase order will be closed out, indicating that the transaction has been completed. The invoice number is used as confirmation. 
  1. Description and pricing 

    This section outlines what goods or services your company is being invoiced for and the agreed upon pricing. The information found here should exactly reflect the descriptions and prices found in your purchase order.  
  1. Payment terms 

    The payment terms will tell your AP department when the supplier expects to receive their payment (i.e., Payable Upon Receipt, Net 30 Days, Net 45 Days, etc.), and which method the vendor prefers to receive their payment (e.g., check, ACH, bank transfer, etc.). 

‏‏‎ ‎

Are invoices sent to accounts payable or receivable? 

When a buyer purchases goods or is provided services on credit, many suppliers will expect to receive payment at a later date. The amount owed by the buyer becomes accounts payable, while the supplier lists it as accounts receivable.

 ‏‏‏‏‎ ‎

What’s the difference between invoices, bills, and receipts? 

Through no fault of their own, many people refer to invoices as they would bills or receipts. Despite their similarities, there are important differences between each of these documents and they all serve a unique purpose.  

Receipts are merely an acknowledgement that the supplier has received payment from the buyer, or that payment (from the buyer’s perspective) has been received. For customers, a receipt is proof of payment as well as proof of ownership of the goods received. 

Like receipts, the terms “invoice” and “bill” are also used interchangeably, but there are important differences between these two documents, namely, in the information they contain. Bills generally don’t contain customer information and are more generic. A buyer will typically receive a bill without an invoice, for example, when shopping at a retail store or dining at a restaurant. The expectation with bills is that payment will be made immediately, rather than in the future. 

Invoices, on the other hand, are legal documents that are regularly used for accounting and tax purposes. As mentioned earlier, they are highly descriptive in nature and will include information about the supplier and the buyer.  

Invoices are not simply used for requesting payment. They list vital details like:  

  • The supplier’s and the customer’s names. 
  • The supplier’s company’s address, phone number, email address, and fax number (if applicable). 
  • The goods or services being exchanged and the exact quantities and prices. 
  • The date the invoice was issued. 
  • The total payment due 

Invoices are a specific type of bill, but not all bills are invoices.

‏‏‎ ‎

Q&A: How Payment Facilitators Improve the B2B Customer Experience With Embedded Payments

Partnering with a payment processor that does payment facilitation in-house ensures a more seamless payment experience for customers and greater back-office efficiencies for sellers. Here’s how.

‏‏‎ ‎

Customer experience is an integral piece of the buyer’s journey. Rising expectations on how buyers and sellers should engage are impacting the entire transaction process, prompting business-to-business (B2B) companies to opt for a more favorable payment experience—one that’s seamless and embedded within their back-office systems like ERPs, rather than tacked on as an afterthought.

When working with a typical payment processor, sellers are handing over their hard-won customers to a third party to handle payments. Unfortunately, these third parties lack the relationship and understanding of customers’ business operations that sellers have built—sometimes over the span of years—which can make handling discrepancies difficult.

Payment facilitators (PayFacs) can be exceptionally valuable for supporting the complexities and high data volumes of B2B transactions. Beyond supporting the seller’s needs and driving greater back-office efficiencies for them, a PayFac—and their ability to embed payments within an existing service—can greatly enhance the overall payment experience for buyers and suppliers.

Chris Wassenaar, Chief Risk Officer at Versapay, recently spoke with about the heightened focus on the B2B payment experience and how it’s driving greater interest in software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers becoming payment facilitators.

Watch the interview or read the transcript below to learn more about:

  • The growth in popularity of payment facilitators and their value in the retail ecosystem
  • The role payment facilitators play in reducing accounting risk
  • What the future of B2B collaborative commerce looks like in the payments sector‏‏‎

‏‏‎ ‎

‏‏‎ ‎

The following transcription has been lightly edited for clarity and readability.

‏‏‎ ‎


Chris: Hi, I’m Christopher Wassenaar, Versapay’s Chief Risk Officer. I have the pleasure of helping set up our global payment facilitator operations.

A payment facilitator—also known as a PayFac—is a merchant service provider that has integrated payment capabilities into an existing offering and their own infrastructure. They make it easier for merchants to get up and running accepting payments by eliminating the need for them to apply for their own merchant account (which can be a lengthy process).

As part of our global PayFac operations, we will be controlling much more of our B2B customer experience. And the most exciting part about it for me is while I’m technically in a risk and operations role, I get to directly impact the customer’s experience.

‏‏‎ ‎

Q: Why have payment facilitators become more of a force over the past few years and why are they valuable in the context of the retail ecosystem?

Chris: Let’s think about a traditional independent sales or referral model. You can be a software company that’s worked for months—perhaps even years—chasing down a particular customer, you’ve convinced them of the value of your software, you’ve gotten them to sign an agreement, you’re beginning to implement, yet there’s one small aspect remaining, which is the payment.

And at that point, you lose control of your customer’s experience with your brand, because you introduce a third party—a traditional payment processor—or a third party financial institution. Now, all the information that you have about that consumer—that relationship you built—is put in the hands of a third party, and they may not know anything about the consumer, or the merchant that you’re trying to land.

It’s a very powerless position to be in, because you’ve worked for months or years to build up that relationship, explain that value, and at the final mile, you’ve turned that over to a third party.

‏‏‎ ‎

Q: How is in-house payments facilitation reducing accounting risk compared to legacy financial institutions, for example?

Chris: There are two different examples we can look at in terms of customer experience—what we call onboarding.

In this first instance, that of a service that does payment facilitation in-house, we can think about a use case where a software company has signed up a large merchant to their service—that true business-to-business (B2B) relationship. And in that B2B relationship, that software provider (especially if doing business with a company that has a similar business model) doesn’t have any concerns about the merchant’s credit profile because they’re very familiar with them.

But if you contrast that onboarding experience to the traditional model—where a company would have sold its software and not had embedded payments—well, now you’ve introduced this third party financial institution who may not be comfortable with a private equity ownership structure, or deferred revenue, or challenges on a balance sheet (whatever applies to that particular B2B customer).

We feel very comfortable with those risks because we understand them. So immediately, our B2B customer’s experience and onboarding is fundamentally transformed. We don’t go to someone else—we make the credit decision ourselves, and we make it within 24 hours.

‏‏‎ ‎

Q: Can you talk about the future of B2B collaborative commerce in the payments sector?

Collaborative commerce describes a model where there’s technology to support every aspect of a business’ interactions, which could be between their own employees or with people outside the business, like partners and customers. Collaborative commerce simplifies communication between buyers and sellers and gets systems working together, automating routine operations and eliminating the need for manual intervention.

Chris: One of the most unique things that I see in collaborative commerce, is an understanding of the incredible amounts of data that are associated with B2B payments.

And what do I mean by that? Well, you can have a traditional interaction in B2C (business-to-consumer) where you simply swipe a card to get your Starbucks smoothie, but if you think about applying that experience to B2B, that’s where things get exciting.

Consider the amount of data that’s in an invoice, the timing of that invoice, the fulfillment terms for that invoice, the interest rate charged for that invoice, whether it’s been pre-negotiated or not—the list goes on. Invoices contain all the different, important material aspects of information that businesses share, and to then layer in and integrate that with payments, well, that’s the future of collaborative commerce.

‏‏‎ ‎

Interested in learning more about how a PayFac model can deliver better payment experiences and greater back-office efficiencies for B2B buyers and sellers? Chris Wassenaar will be presenting “The Future of B2B Payment Technology in a Digital Economy” as part of our Finance & Accounting Masterclass: The Digital Shift on June 24, 2021. Save your seat here.

‏‏‎ ‎

11 Award-Winning Accounts Receivable All-Stars

Accounts receivable (AR) professionals bring tremendous value to their organizations as the key players making sure cash is continuously flowing into the business. Versapay’s Accounts Receivable All-Star Awards recognize the individuals and companies doing the important work of digitally transforming their AR function to accelerate cash flow.

‏‏‎ ‎

Accounts receivable professionals deserve recognition for the impact they create, which is why we’re celebrating National Accounts Receivable Appreciation Day in the best way possible—with some well-deserved awards!

The work of an accounts receivable specialist can be strenuous but has a decisive impact that is often only seen behind the scenes. Day-in and day-out, these folks are uncovering new efficiencies and maintaining the lifeblood of the business—cash flow. To celebrate this vital work, we created Versapay’s first-ever, inaugural AR All-Star Awards.

We opened submissions to all our customers—at both the individual and company level—with awards spanning 11 categories, including Most Improved Customer Satisfaction, Collector of the Year, and Best Transition to Digital Payments.

The results are in, and we’re excited to announce the inaugural winners of Versapay’s Accounts Receivable All-Star Awards!

‏‏‎ ‎

Data-Driven Awards

This award category recognizes innovative organizations that have driven significant and measurable change within their businesses using accounts receivable automation software.

[98% Payment Adoption] Highest End-User Payment Adoption – Boston Properties

98% of Boston Properties’ customers onboarded to Versapay are making their payments through the platform.

Boston Properties, a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT), is one of the largest owners, managers and developers of Class A office properties in the United States, with a significant presence in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

[92% Platform Adoption] Highest End-User Platform Adoption – DeVere Insulation

Since implementing Versapay’s accounts receivable automation software, 92% of DeVere Insulation’s customers onboarded to the platform have been active in the portal.

DeVere Insulation provides home and business owners throughout Baltimore, MD, and beyond with high-quality commercial and residential insulation services. 

‏‏‎ ‎

Transformation Awards

The awards in this category recognize organizations and individuals that have transformed their business’ accounts receivable function, driving significant efficiencies and savings as a result.

[185% Weekly Increase in Digital Payments] Best Transition to Digital Payments – Sharp

Since Sharp Canada and US started onboarding customers to Versapay in March, 2021, the company has seen total digital payments increase threefold week-over-week.

Sharp Corporation is a multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronics.

[73% Decrease in Past Due Invoices] Largest Efficiency Gains – Engineering Sales Associates

Since launching with Versapay, Engineering Sales Associates has seen a reduction in invoices past due from 33% to 9% within three months. 

Engineering Sales Associates is total solutions provider for compressed air systems, providing emergency and preventive maintenance services for air compressors as well as rentals, equipment, and parts.

[+50 Hours Per Week Reduction in Labor] Best ERP Implementation Success Story – Rapid7

After launching with Versapay’s integrated payments solution for NetSuite, Rapid7 is now saving over 50 hours per week and is more confident in the delivery of their communications to customers. Customers now have real-time visibility into the status of all their invoices and payments through their own dedicated portal.

Rapid7, a computer and network security company, helps security teams reduce vulnerabilities, monitor for malicious activity, and investigate and shut down cyberattacks.

[Best-in-Class Days Sales Outstanding] Largest DSO Reduction – Merrill Manufacturing

Using Versapay’s accounts receivable automation software, Heather Copp, Credit/AR Manager at Merrill Manufacturing, reduced her company’s DSO rate such that it’s now best-in-class! The ability to collaborate more easily with customers and an increased automation of reporting have contributed to a decline in the number of late payments.

Merrill Manufacturing is a leader in the water well industry, producing hydrants and other water well accessories.

[Significant Reduction in Support Inquiries] Most Improved Customer Satisfaction – Regency Centers Corp.

After giving their customers increased visibility online into all their account activity through Versapay, Regency Centers observed a reduction in customer support calls and emails from tenants requesting assistance in making sense of their accounts. This has given time back to Regency Centers’ accounts receivable team and allowed field property managers to better support their tenants.

Regency Centers, a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT), is a national owner, operator, and developer of shopping centers.

‏‏‎ ‎

Nomination-Based Awards

Nominated by their colleagues, these awards recognize individuals who have made a strong contribution to their organization and work culture.

[70% Reduction in Accounts Over 90] Collector of the Year – Tammy Craft (RPC)

According to her team, Tammy Craft is the real MVP. Since taking over receivables for her company during COVID-19, Tammy has managed to reduce their over 90 days accounts by 70% in the past five months. Before Tammy stepped in and took reins, the organization was at risk of serious cash flow issues.

Woman in AR of the Year – Dawn Driessen (Ryan Companies)

Dawn Driessen is our inaugural AR woman of the year because she rocks! Dawn has demonstrated exemplary leadership by involving her team in rolling out their AR automation cloud from implementation to production. She’s proven her dedication to her team by motivating and inspiring them and constantly ensuring that everyone felt heard and not overwhelmed. Dawn has shown integrity, respect, and excellence in everything she’s done.

Above the Cloud Collaborator – Alec Sorbello (Rapid7)

Alec Sorbello is a true believer that teamwork makes the dreamwork. Alec was instrumental in the rollout of Versapay at his organization, guiding both the team and customers through the process. He connected Rapid7’s Revenue Ops and Collections teams with the IT Business Systems team to implement the platform. Through his work, Alec has demonstrated that he’s a dedicated and committed team member.

Newest Asset – Blade Mitchell (England Logistics)

Blade Mitchell has made a strong first impression with his team. As the new supervisor for the accounts receivable team at England Logistics, he has taken on the company’s AR automation software integration completely. From the first interaction he wanted to ensure that he and his team understood how to utilize the AR cloud platform to the best of their abilities. From asking questions and booking time for additional training, to resolving dilemmas and following up with team members to get answers, he’s been a proactive team member.

‏‏‎ ‎

Congratulations to all this year’s winners and thank you to everyone who submitted their nominations for the first—of many—Versapay Accounts Receivable All-Star Awards! It wasn’t easy picking only 11 winners, but we can confidently say all the finalists are exceptionally innovative individuals and organizations accelerating their business through the power of digital transformation.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our AR All-Star Awards ebook, where we’ll be showcasing our winners’ stories and sharing the secrets of their success. In the meantime, learn more about the All-Star Awards and how you can join our revered list of winners next year here.

‏‏‎ ‎