The Better Way To Manage Sales Discounts With AR Automation

Offering your customers sales discounts on their purchase orders is a great way to incentivize early payments. But, managing and accounting for them can mean added work for your finance team. Although cash discounts are designed to be a win-win for you and your customers, they can actually be extremely costly when not managed effectively allowing customers to abuse payment terms and grace periods.

It’s clear that the way suppliers manage sales discounts needs to change. Suppliers want an easy-to-use solution that automatically applies discounts to customer orders and accounts for them during the order to cash process, all while making it easy for their customers to know exactly what they owe. This is made possible with intelligent collections capabilities.

Transforming Sales Discount Management

Transforming how your finance team manages sales discounts starts with implementing a technology solution that eliminates the manual work required of your finance team. Enter accounts receivable (AR) automation! With the right AR automation platform—with intelligent collections capability—your finance team can more accurately apply sales discounts and build customer reports with reliable data.

Here are four ways intelligent collections software will enhance how your team manages sales discounts:

  1. Empower Your Team and Customers with an Online Portal
    With AR automation, both your finance team and your customers benefit from access to an online portal. For your finance team, this means they can better manage sales discounts and more confidently make decisions surrounding items like credit worthiness. For your customers, an online portal means increased visibility into payment deadlines and what discounts are available to them. This also eliminates instances of unearthed cash discounts for suppliers and prevents customers from saying “Oh, my check is in the mail!” when trying to abuse discount grace periods. Online portals remove the need for grace periods altogether, as discounts are instantaneous. 
  1. Help Suppliers Determine Eligible Discount Payment Methods
    Intelligent collections software allows your organization to be more flexible when accepting payment, allowing your finance team to optimize for their preferred – or their customers’ preferred – payment methods for discount eligibility. Your finance team will have the autonomy to choose the method that will lead to the fastest payment for your business and best experience for your customers.
  1. Reconcile Discounts Automatically 
    One of the biggest challenges of offering sales discounts occurs when reconciling and posting discounted transactions to the appropriate ledgers and accounts. Intelligent collections software, however, automatically reconciles all sales discounts accordingly. Your team will be more productive with their time as they’ll no longer be responsible for manually accounting for each customer discount.
  1. Communicate Discount Terms at Every Touchpoint
    AR automation software allows your finance team to deliver clear and powerful reminders at every customer touchpoint to compel your customers to pay you faster. Emails, notifications, reminders, on invoice messaging, and in portal pop-ups can be used to encourage your customers to take advantage of the discount incentives available to them and pay ahead of the agreed upon due date.

If you’re looking to improve the sales discount experience for your customers and finance team, an AR automation platform with intelligent collections software—such as Versapay ARC—will get you there. We designed ARC with your customers in mind and to make it easy for them to know exactly what they owe. Our intuitive approach to accounts receivable automation has empowered thousands of finance teams and their customers to transform their collections process and take back control of their time.

To learn more about Versapay, contact us today.

New Collections and Collaboration Tools Helps Versapay Drive Customer-Centricity in Accounts Receivable

Toronto, ON – September 9, 2020 – Versapay Corporation, the leader in Customer-Centric Order-to-Cash solutions, announced new features to support customers challenged by COVID and ongoing economic uncertainty.

Versapay’s Electronic Cash-on-Delivery (eCOD) presents customers an intuitive self-service payment portal to accept online payments, trigger order fulfillment, and enhance buyer-supplier communications. On-delivery collections have increased in popularity yet present many COVID-related challenges. By offering flexible payment methods, eCOD eliminates the exchange of cash and checks, reduces disputes, accelerates delivery, and automates cash application. 

Suppliers offering early payment discount programs to their customers will benefit from Versapay Incentives, featuring online calculation and presentment of payment incentives and straight-through reconciliation to the ERP. “Customer research uncovered how early payment discounts were often overlooked or improperly applied, creating additional friction between suppliers and buyers,” shared Bob Stark, Chief Marketing Officer at Versapay. “Our clients want to accelerate collections so removing barriers to process early payments is critical to drive working capital improvement.”

Versapay’s Document Manager allows suppliers to securely share documents, settle disputes, exchange messages and initiate mass communication with multiple customers or divisions. The online collaboration tool streamlines back-office operations, offering productivity enhancements over manual email processes.

“COVID-19 has presented numerous difficulties for CFOs and accounts receivable teams burdened by paper-based and manual processes. Versapay responded to our clients by introducing online capabilities to simplify collections, disputes, collaboration, and payment, offering suppliers multiple levers to free trapped cash within their receivables process,” commented Craig O’Neill, CEO of Versapay.

About Versapay Corporation

Versapay is focused on changing the way companies do business together by offering Customer-Centric AR Automation and Order-to-Cash solutions for mid-market and enterprise businesses. We help our clients to offer a superior customer experience, enabling CFOs to accelerate cash conversion, collaborate online, and eliminate paper, checks and manual business processes. Based in Toronto with five offices across the US, Versapay is owned by Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based technology investment firm.

8 Ways You Can Automate Your Collections Process

It’s no secret that your collections process can be incredibly mundane, leaving your finance team unmotivated to complete their work each day. And when you look at the nature of traditional accounts receivable (AR) management, it’s easy to understand why. Daily collections calls, sending endless reminders to clients who “forget” to pay you, and manual matching of customer payments to invoices means your team isn’t utilizing their full potential. So, what can your business do in the short-term to boost team morale while simultaneously improving the overall collections experience?

Automate the Collections Process

The answer lies in AR automation – intelligent software solutions that empower businesses like yours to take back time currently spent managing processes manually to enhance productivity and drive efficiency. But actually implementing such a solution can be challenging, so we’ve assembled eight strategies we recommend when looking towards collections automation:

  1. Optimize Your Invoice Delivery Mix
    When you limit how your customers can view and pay invoices, it’s unlikely they’ll be in a hurry to do so. Consider implementing an online invoice delivery solution with click-to-pay functionality so that your customers can pay you directly from the invoice. This will ensure speedy payment and eliminate manual work needed to settle collections.
  2. Offer Customers a Self-Service Portal
    Self-service portals empower customers to pay how and when they want, eliminating barriers for you to get paid. With a customer self-service portal in place, you’ll feel relaxed knowing your customers are in control of their payments and that your money is ending up in the right place, every time.
  3. Select an Intelligent Collections Solution
    The right AR automation solution handles all the standard, yet tedious work your finance team currently does, but in the background. Intelligent collections software owns your collections process and ensures human intervention is only required when absolutely necessary (like when discrepancies or disputes arise).
  4. Integrate Your Customer Payments
    Letting your customers choose how they want to pay is critical to effective collections process automation. Integrated payments means your customers can schedule recurring payments, pay outstanding invoices, make short or multiple payments, pay by credit card, or pay from their bank account. When considering AR automation, look for tools that can do all of this to ensure maximum efficiency for your business.
  5. Move Customer Communication & Collaboration Online
    When you automate your collections, your team will still need to be there to mediate disputes or answer customer questions, so look for a solution that enables you to work collaboratively online. When you work in real-time with your customers, you’ll easily loop in the right people so you can get the job done efficiently and reach a resolution quickly.
  6. Opt for Advanced Cash Application
    Advanced cash application ensures that regardless of how your customers are paying you (e.g., checks, wire transfer, ACH, credit card, etc.), all methods are settling in the same place. With the right solution, your team will spend less time applying cash and more time maximizing it.
  7. Use Smart Bank Reconciliation
    Accurate bank reconciliation is fundamental to your collections process. Receiving customer payments is useless if you can’t reconcile them! Look for smart bank reconciliation software that automatically resolves customer deposits directly into your bank account. Stay connected with global banks to maximize your efficiency.
  8. Get Real-Time Analytics
    One of the most effective strategies for automating your collections is employing real-time analytics software into your receivables management. This software harnesses the power of automation to intelligently track all customer activities so your team can more precisely focus their efforts. Real-time analytics tracks online and offline payments and provides insight into key metrics like invoice deliverability and click-through rates. With this integration, you’ll understand your customers’ needs and be better equipped to serve those who need your help most.

There are many different ways your business can automate its collections process. The key is finding a solution that makes your team more efficient and gives your customers a frictionless experience. At Versapay, we do just this with our Customer-Centric AR automation solution, Versapay ARC. ARC was designed with your customer in mind; with an intuitive self-service, online payment experience, you’ll empower your customers with real-time data tracking, optimized invoice delivery, and online collaboration.

To learn more about Versapay, contact us today.

What it’s Like to Be a Marketing Intern at Versapay

I made the life-changing decision six years ago to move to Toronto from China for my education. It should come as no surprise then that I’m someone who loves taking on new adventures and challenges—and my co-op term with Versapay was just that.

If you asked me to summarize my experience working as a marketing co-op at Versapay in one word, I would say: unexpected.

As a student majoring in finance, I previously completed internships in sales and accounting so marketing was a new area that I had not yet explored. Getting firsthand experience is the best way to learn and I’ve soaked up new knowledge everyday like a sponge. Over the course of my co-op, I’ve gotten to know and learn from several industry experts, which has been priceless for my career development.

Because this was my first ever marketing job, I had a steep learning curve. I started this work term slightly overwhelmed by the amount of new information I had to take in, with plenty of meetings in between. This fast-paced working environment requires you to learn quickly and being part of a marketing team requires you to be an expert in many fields. Video editing, creative thinking, writing, and design are just the tip of the iceberg for the knowledge essential to marketers.

The intern experience at Versapay is different from any other because of the ownership we’re given. I take responsibility for several projects and am also involved in a wide array of marketing activities. These range from managing social media platforms and brainstorming creative content to doing research and analysis. I treat every project with the same commitment, whether the task is big or small.

Commitment—along with curiosity, honesty, and results—is a core company value. I can feel these values reflected in Versapay’s culture every single day.

Just like marketing shapes your first impression of a company, employees shape your first impression of a company’s culture. At Versapay, we work hard and play hard. You can often find us playing board games in the office cafeteria during lunch or going out for a coffee run. We love exploring the best bars near the office, playing sports as a team, and celebrating holidays with fun activities and tasty treats.

Working at Versapay makes me feel like a trusted employee, as I’m constantly encouraged to bring up new ideas and empowered to contribute to the organization. When I first started at Versapay, I set a goal to be curious about why our practices are the way they are and continuously seek a better way. Versapay’s team and leadership have shown that they value this way of thinking and appreciate everyone’s opinion.

Do you want to work on exciting projects that’ll drive innovation in B2B finance? Learn about open roles at Versapay on our careers page.

Gemaire Distributors

Gemaire implemented Versapay ARC®, a cloud-based solution that automates the entire invoice-to-cash process. With ARC, Gemaire streamlined its AR process, improved communication with its customers, enabled online payment acceptance in the form of ACH, debit and credit card and gained visibility and control over its receivables.

“The Versapay team is a great team that will work with you to the nth degree to ensure your success. And that was what we needed. We needed a partner, and we got that in Versapay.”

John Rebescher, Director of Credit

By utilizing ARC’s single-sign-on (SSO) functionality, customers can seamlessly move between the Gemaire ecommerce and payments platforms. Onboarding new customers is now easy and convenient, enabling Gemaire to deliver an exceptional customer experience from the first interaction.

“Since implementing Versapay, we can see our collections effort get better and better each month. It’s now become a one stop shop for our customers and as a result, we are realizing better cash flow from it.”

John Rebescher, Director of Credit

Communicating to Gemaires’ 8,000+ customers is a breeze using ARC’s notification and messaging center. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and left many businesses working away from their offices, Gemaire was able to send out messages to all customers, reaching them wherever they were working.

With Versapay ARC, Gemaire is creating a one stop shop for its customers that is not only improving the experience for its customers but improving collections efforts, sales, and cashflow.

Solving the Virtual Card Dilemma

You’ve no doubt heard about virtual cards. They are, as the name suggests, a virtual version of a credit card – no plastic, no chips, no PINs. From the buyer perspective, they offer many advantages over physical credit cards – improved security, better control, complete transaction details, and so on – but what many on the buying side don’t realize is that, from the supplier side, virtual cards actually create payment processing and reconciliation challenges.

How Virtual Card Acceptance Works Today

Once a buyer has paid an invoice with a virtual card, the AR team on the supplier side receives an email notifying them that a virtual card has been used to make a payment and that they must now process that payment. In most cases, the card details are sitting in the body of the email. Due to the strict parameters and rules applied to the card, this isn’t an issue from a security perspective. The issue is that the vendor has to manually plug those details into their POS system or virtual terminal. They must input the card details, wait for the success or failed message, deal with that message appropriately, and then ensure the remittance data is entered into the ERP. Entering remittance data, in most cases, involves manual data entry (from email to ERP) and in the best case involves copy/paste actions. The level of effort is high and if the dollar value of each transaction is low, it means that the ROI diminishes quickly for the supplier. For a supplier receiving only a handful of virtual card payments, the process is somewhat manageable. However, with the growing popularity of virtual cards, especially from the buying side, suppliers are either forced to hire more staff in AR or refuse to take virtual cards.

In one case we know of, a supplier had to build a team of 20 full-time resources to deal with the volume of virtual card emails. It became a mess to manage. Suppliers en masse are revolting and despite double-digit growth in virtual card payments each year, the churn on suppliers accepting virtual card payments is more than 15%.

What’s the Solution

What we are left with is a payment method that has a positive impact for the buyer but negative impact for the supplier. So how can we make virtual cards a positive experience for everyone? There are two issues that need to be solved for: easily processing the card and, once processed, getting the remittance data into the supplier’s ERP without manual data entry.

By implementing Straight-Through-Processing (STP) and working directly with acquirers like First Data, card issuers can get the card processed and get the funds into the right bank account. But then there is still a remittance problem. How does that data get into the supplier’s ERP?

You need a supplier-centric solution that facilitates a more robust way of taking payment details, transports them into an ERP and closes out the open receivables. This solution now exists and it’s finally making it easy for suppliers to accept virtual cards.

Making it Easier for Suppliers to Accept Virtual Cards

This new solution aggregates all virtual card payments received by a supplier across all issuers and compiles it into one comprehensive file-based or API-based data transmission, for delivery directly into the supplier’s accounting system. This creates a digital data source that suppliers can more easily integrate into ERP systems or use for cash flow forecasting.

As more and more suppliers begin to use this new solution, we’ll start to see virtual cards compete with ACH as a commonly accepted payment method. By streamlining the approach to existing reconciliation processes, this new solution helps to improve the overall payment experience between buyers and suppliers of all sizes.

Four essential steps for successful payment portal adoption

What’s the value of a modern payment portal with no end-user adoption? The answer is – not a whole lot. No matter how much time you spend putting together requirements documents, RFPs, interviewing stakeholders, comparing vendors, sitting through demos, negotiating price and doing anything else you can to ensure you are implementing the best solution to solve your challenges, if your customers don’t use it, then it’s all a waste. And chances are, since those challenges aren’t being solved, in 6 months time…maybe a year, you’ll decide that that solution isn’t up to the task and you’ll start the process all over again.

Adoption is the key to success.

In a world where most people are hesitant to change, and it’s fair to say that financial professionals are more averse to change than the average person, how do you drive meaningful adoption?

We’ve done it. We do it all the time in fact. Our Accounts Receivable (AR) and B2B payments solution has the highest adoption numbers in the industry…by a long shot. Our implementation consultants and client success managers use tried and tested strategies that drive behavioral change in an impactful way. So, we’ve asked them to share their secrets.

Here are their top 4 pieces of advice for driving adoption of your new payment solution:

Build awareness among your customers and the internal team

Create excitement among your internal team by ensuring they understand how this new platform will make their lives easier. Provide appropriate training and user guidelines so that they understand and feel confident using the tool. Ensure they have quick access to on-demand support resources if they should ever run into trouble and also be sure they understand what’s expected of them. Set-up targets and be clear on what improvements you are expecting to see.

On your customer side, work with your CRM team to create a bespoke marketing campaign to drive awareness of the incoming solution. Send out pre-launch communications, invitation emails, add mention of the new software in all relevant email signatures, add messaging on printed invoices and statements, and make use of all other commonly used marketing channels. Within the platform, ensure you enable all appropriate Customer and Supplier notifications and set up reminders for users who ignore the invitation.

Highlight features that incentivize your customers

One of the most critical steps in the adoption process for any payment portal is to get your customers to make that first payment. You and your team need to be clear on why using this new payment portal would benefit your customers so that you can re-enforce that message at every interaction. Educate customers on features that make it easy for them to make a payment such as AutoPay options, credit cards, one-click sign-up, and real-time, in-platform communication channels. Help your customers understand the advantage they will gain by using the new payment portal. In addition, incentivize desired behavior during that first month by offering a flat fee discount to customers who pay with the portal instead of paying with checks, as an example.

Leverage learnings with feedback and surveys to early adopters

Asking for feedback in the early stages of the roll-out will enhance customers’ satisfaction in the long-term. This step helps you understand where customers are struggling and what needs to be changed to remove barriers before moving forward. With insights from a survey, you can not only increase the quality of the product delivered, but you can apply those learnings to develop a meaningful marketing campaign. Customers will feel that you are here to listen to them and really understand their needs. In addition to driving adoption, this step helps strengthen your relationship with your customers.

Your adoption drives customers’ adoption

To optimize the use of the solution and maximize its value to your customers, you need to understand it and you need to use it. How can customers believe in the product if you are not using it? The most critical step in driving customer adoption is driving internal adoption. If there is an issue with the payment process, the first point of contact customers will reach out to is you and your team. Your job is to save your customers time by always being aware of potential issues and share your experience about areas that could cause confusion or delay. Replying to customers’ concerns with “we don’t know” will discourage customers from using the new payment portal. A good digital payment portal and AR solution provides you with customer behavior data. Use this data to proactively identify opportunities, forecast market movement, and solve customer issues before they arise.

Following these four steps will go a long way in ensuring your payment solution implementation is a success. If you’d like to learn more about making customer payments a breeze, check out other resources or schedule a demo with one of our specialists!

COD Part 2: Streamlining Order Processing in B2B with Electronic Cash on Delivery

A New Approach to COD

As we illustrated in Part 1 of this blog series, ‘What’s Wrong with Cash on Delivery’, facilitating transactions through traditional Cash-on-Delivery (COD) remains a popular collections method for suppliers, but it’s not without its downsides. But what other option is there for suppliers who wish to maximize the benefits of traditional COD, without sacrificing anything from their current collections process? Enter ‘Electronic Cash on Delivery’, or eCOD.

eCOD is a fundamentally new approach to cash-on-delivery which, among other advantages, enables suppliers to move their COD customers online. Electronic COD customers are presented with a self-service portal where they can access all of their account and billing information, and invoices and statements, in one centralized, configurable, and secure location.

AutoPay

At the heart of eCOD is ‘AutoPay’, which can be synced with a supplier’s order fulfilment process, regardless of whether they operate according to a just-in-time inventory model, or if they receive payments after delivery. Payments can be processed on receipt (when invoices are published or delivered), on a due date, or at a specific time. eCOD, with its AutoPay functionality, delivers a streamlined order intake process for suppliers and facilitates faster payment processing with reduced cash application errors.

With eCOD, suppliers eliminate the need for cash and checks while gaining greater visibility into their customers’ accounts. Customers using eCOD benefit by gaining access to a portal that puts them in control. The portal enables these customers to add or update their preferred payment method, view past invoices and payment activity, apply existing credits to new invoices, and collaborate with their suppliers in real time.

Why Suppliers Should Adopt eCOD Today

Here are 6 of the primary reasons why suppliers currently offering traditional COD should explore eCOD options today:

Supplier Benefits

  1. Greater Visibility Into Customer Accounts
  2. Faster Payment Processing
  3. Reduced Safety Risk & Better Dispute Management

Customer Benefits

  1. Real-Time Collaboration with Suppliers
  2. Payment Experience that Suits Your Preferences
  3. Improved Path to Becoming Credit Customers

More than ever, being able to offer your customers a customized user experience that meets their needs is critical to maintaining business continuity and enabling business growth. At Versapay, we’ve designed our platform around the principles of customer-centric AR. We’ll help you empower your customers with an intuitive self-service, online payment experience, for credit and COD customers alike.

Versapay Boosts Leadership Team with Hiring of Experienced Market Leaders

Toronto, ON – July 15, 2020 – Versapay Corporation, the leader in AR Automation and B2B Integrated Payments solutions, is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its Executive Leadership Team. Keith Reed joins as Chief Sales Officer, Bob Stark takes the role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Philip Pettinato becomes the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), bringing a combined 75+ years of leadership experience in financial technology to the company. The leadership team’s expansion follows the announcement of Great Hill Partners’ (“Great Hill”) acquisition of Versapay, which was completed in February 2020.

“Versapay continues to achieve record setting results and is poised for the next stage of our growth story,” stated Craig O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer of Versapay. “Adding three leaders with the pedigree of Keith, Phil and Bob, who have each driven impressive growth multiple times in their financial technology careers, injects a new level of experience to our proven management team.”

Keith Reed comes to Versapay with 25 years leading and executing go-to-market strategies. Keith was most recently the Chief Operating Officer at Keap, where he led product, sales, marketing and customer facing functions. Keith previously held senior roles overseeing sales, marketing, and channel development for Intuit Corporation and magicJack.

Bob Stark joins Versapay with over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and product strategy in cash, payments, and risk technology. Most recently, Bob was the VP of Strategy for Kyriba, where he was responsible for global product marketing and strategy. Over the course of his career, Stark has built a strong track record for positioning companies as thought leaders in their industries.

With nearly 30 years’ experience in SaaS and financial technology across a diverse set of company environments, Phil Pettinato has led the full lifecycle of software product development, including concept, planning, design, development, and go-to-market activities. Prior to joining Versapay, Pettinato was CTO of Reval, where he was responsible for Reval’s market leading SaaS treasury and risk management system.

“I continually heard about Versapay from clients, analysts, and bank contacts, so was familiar with their success in simplifying the customer payment experience and accelerating cash conversion,” added Bob Stark. “The opportunity to help Versapay deliver an authentic digital transformation story for the CFO is something we are all passionate about.” 

About Versapay Corporation

Versapay is focused on changing the way companies do business together by offering AR Automation and B2B Integrated Payments solutions for mid-market and enterprise businesses.  Our solutions enable our clients to offer a superior customer experience, enabling CFOs to accelerate cash conversion, collaborate online, and eliminate paper, checks and manual business processes. Based in Toronto with five offices across the US, Versapay is owned by Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based technology investment firm.

More information about Versapay is available at www.versapay.com

For additional information, please contact:

Katie Canton
Content Marketing
Versapay Corporation
(647) 797-1074
katie.canton@versapay.com

Voice of Our Customers: AR Automation

In this short video, you’ll hear from our customers as they explain how VersaPay’s AR Automation solution has changed the way they do business.

From replacing inefficient manual work to making it easier to do business with, automating the AR process with VersaPay ARC has improved the day-to-day operations for many organizations.