In the race to thrive in today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, every second counts. Time wasted on manual payment processes is time stolen from driving growth and staying ahead of the competition. But what if there was a secret weapon that could unlock a world of efficiency and propel your business forward? Enter payment automation, the game-changing solution that promises to revolutionize the way you collect and reconcile payments. In this article, we will dive deep into the realm of payment automation, unravel its inner workings, and uncover the three powerful ways it can supercharge your business efficiency. Prepare to unleash a new era of productivity and leave your competitors in the bay.Â
Let’s embark on a journey that will forever transform the way you handle payments and pave the way to unprecedented success.
What is Payment Automation?
Payment automation is the process of electronically making payments to bills using electronic payment systems. It aims to automate, optimize, and streamline the previously manual processes related to payments. These processes include communications, invoice matching, ACH transfers, and automatically approving and sending payments.
How Does Payment Automation Work?
An automated payment system works by implementing methods for processing payment-related data and completing actions with little to no human involvement. For example, payroll automation involves processing invoices from different sources and formats, interpreting the information they contain, storing it, and then deciding whether to approve and send the payments or hold them for manual review.
Another important aspect of payment automation is ACH verification. ACH, which stands for automated clearinghouse, is a type of payment that happens virtually through the transfer of funds from one account to another. A payment automation software platform securely verifies and stores the recipient’s bank account information, enabling seamless transactions.
3 Ways Payment Automation Can Boost Business Efficiency!Â
1. Improved Customer Service
One of the key advantages of payment automation solution is the ability to provide improved customer service. Traditional methods of transferring money between bank accounts often require searching for the correct account number and double-checking that the money arrived at the right location. However, with payment automation, customers can transfer money to another account with just an email address or phone number within minutes.
The integration of payment automation with other components, like the New Payments Platform (NPP) and Osko, allows for faster and 24/7 transactions. This streamlines the customer experience, reducing the time spent waiting for transactions to be completed. By embracing payment automation, businesses can surpass their competitors who are slower to adapt, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction.
2. Surpassing the Competition
Payment automation not only improves customer service but also enables businesses to surpass their competitors. By adopting payment automation solution, customers can make real-time payments to any financial institution that supports NPP-linked accounts. This strategy gives businesses a competitive edge over competitors who are slower to adapt.
The lending industry, in particular, has experienced significant improvements in payment experiences by leveraging payment automation. Apart from facilitating faster instant payments, the NPP also simplifies data sharing between different bank accounts. This open banking approach offers financial service providers a multitude of opportunities to automate business processes, reach a wider audience, and enhance the overall customer experience.
3. Easy Reconciliation of Payments
Payment automation simplifies the reconciliation of payments, which is crucial for businesses. Traditional payment systems based on BSB and account numbers often lack flexibility. However, payment automation solutions like NPP now allow for the creation of PayIDs using phone numbers, email addresses, or even ABNs instead of BSBs. Additionally, the character limit for transaction descriptions has increased from 18 to 280.
The speed of NPP transactions is a significant advantage, especially for businesses that require faster reconciliation tools. By generating unique BSBs and account numbers for each customer, reconciliation becomes easier and more efficient. Tools like Auto Matcher can automate the reconciliation process, eliminating orphan transactions and simplifying tracking and identification of payments.
Why is Payment Automation Important?
Automating payments is crucial for completing the accounts payable (AP) process and improving integration with procure-to-pay (P2P) systems. By removing manual steps from the final payment process, payment automation increases automation levels, resulting in various benefits for businesses.
1. Quicker Cycle Times
Time is money for AP teams, and payment automation helps speed up the process. By automating and improving the payment process, companies can see a greater return on investment and pay their suppliers faster. Faster invoice processing also leads to increased early payment discounts and cost savings.
2. Cheaper Transactions
Traditional paper checks are much more expensive than electronic payments. Automating the AP process and transitioning to electronic payments significantly reduces the average cost of processing and paying an invoice, which can be as high as $20. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the cost savings associated with payment automation.
3. Antifraud Measures
Fraudsters often target traditional payment methods like cheques. By automating payments, businesses can reduce the risk of fraud and protect their sensitive data. According to the AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, 81% of companies were victims of payment fraud. Automating payments helps secure financial transactions and mitigates the risks associated with fraudulent activities.
4. Reduced Payment Errors & Duplicates
Manual AP processes are prone to errors, leading to duplicate payments and wasted time. Payment automation reduces the occurrence of payment errors and duplicates by leveraging technology to streamline and automate the process. This results in improved accuracy and efficiency in managing payments, reducing the chances of costly mistakes.
5. Improved Visibility
Payment automation provides businesses with greater visibility into their financial data. By capturing more financial data through electronic payments, companies can support advanced analytics and process improvement initiatives. This enhanced visibility allows finance executives to gain better insights, predict and forecast cash flows, and optimize cash positions. It also enables the implementation of strategic tools like supply chain financing and dynamic discounting.
6. Additional Discounts
Manual invoice processing often prevents businesses from taking advantage of early payment discounts. By automating payments, organizations can reduce the processing cycle and increase the likelihood of accessing more available discounts. This optimization of working capital through payment automation can lead to significant cost savings and improved cash flow management.
7. Fewer Inquiries from Suppliers
AP teams often spend a significant amount of time handling supplier inquiries about invoice and payment status. By implementing a portal that offers real-time visibility into transaction statuses, businesses can reduce the time spent addressing supplier inquiries. This not only frees up valuable time for AP teams, but also strengthens supplier relationships through improved communication and transparency.
8. Enhanced Supplier Satisfaction
Payment automation allows for shorter payment cycles, resulting in faster payments to suppliers. This improved cash flow management reduces the supplier’s days sales outstanding (DSO) and enhances their overall satisfaction. By automating payment processes, businesses can build stronger relationships with their suppliers and create a more efficient supply chain ecosystem.
The use of payment automation solutions offers numerous advantages for businesses. Although many accounts payable departments still rely on manual processes, it’s crucial to embrace automation to improve efficiency and maximize the benefits of digital transformation. By automating payments, businesses can enhance customer service, surpass their competitors, simplify payment reconciliation, and enjoy cost savings. Payment automation is an essential tool for boosting financial operations and improving overall business efficiency.
Remember, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use payment automation solution, consider Zapro AP automation. It simplifies invoice handling, reduces errors, speeds up payments, and provides valuable data for analysis and improvement. With its user-friendly interface and benefits for both businesses and individuals involved in accounts payable, Zapro AP automation is a smart choice for streamlining your financial operations. Get started today and experience the efficiency and convenience of payment automation.