Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need more support from their banks than ever to handle today’s increasingly fragmented global economy. Increasingly, companies must manage increased data processing and transaction volumes for their clients. This stress pushes some SMBs to rely on more than one bank to keep operations running smoothly. This isn’t what any bank wants. The question is, which banks will emerge as the most digital and forward-thinking providers?

To successfully evolve A/R offerings to support corporate banking customers’ ever-growing needs, banks must deliver a comprehensive—and easily integrated—range of receivables processing services and solutions. One such solution is Biller Genie, an award-winning cloud-based solution that automates accounts receivable from bill presentment, to follow up, and collection without changing a business’s current process. 

Accelerating Demand

The growing demand for integrated receivables solution and the extensive operational benefits this technology delivers corporate banking customers is no longer something that banks can simply take into future consideration. The time is now. According to recent research from the Aite Group, 73% of corporate treasury professionals cite a bank’s ability to provide an integrated receivables offering as ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’, when selecting a new banking partner. In response to this growing demand, 70% of banks rank integrated receivables technology as a ‘high’ priority. 

Application programming interfaces (APIs) comprise one way to speed up services, as they can quickly connect multiple parties while securing transactions and data exchanges. Banks really must rethink how they use APIs within the commercial space if they wish to serve SMBs that require real-time solutions for data, payments, and other business pain points like getting paid on time. 

Bringing integrated receivables to SMB banking customers is just one way banks can deliver value-added solutions. Finding the right partner, like Biller Genie, helps significantly reduce the risk of losing key corporate customers to rival banks who have already made the move to implement and offer such solutions.

Banks will need to educate the businesses relying on them for cutting-edge financial services

The value of account receivable integrations is for financial institutions like to “bring the bank to” those small businesses that are increasingly operating in digital environments. Automated accounts receivables solutions like Biller Genie will help small businesses with account aggregation, overall financial flexibility, and they’ll speed up and improve access to real-time payments and data transfers. What banks need to do is make SMBs aware that they can connect to such platforms. Low awareness is a big part of the reason why more businesses and startups are not using automation accounts receivable solutions. The other issue is that SMBs may not know which banks offer such APIs, so financial institutions need to shift their commercial approaches in response, informing their customers about the options that are available to them. While it may seem that Account Executives should be armed with all of the information that they need to convert an SMB that is using traditional AR to an automated one, it makes more sense that the FinTech company itself be the one to explain how their system can help move the needle for their business. 

This shift to ePayments has elevated the FinTech industry with solutions designed to decrease business costs of processing accounts receivable payments.

Bank Lockboxes: A Thing of The Past

Traditionally, a bank lockbox has been used by company Accounts Receivable departments to increase convenience and efficiency. Lockboxes have been around for decades, and much of the traditional bank lockbox’s life has been utilized for capturing payment data associated with payments made by check. Commercial banks offered this service to improve the efficiency and flow of business transactions simplifying the accounts receivables collection process. Customers leverage the Bank Lockbox to receive check payments in one consistent location. However, there are big drawbacks to using Bank Lockboxes. 

  • Firstly, Lockboxes have security concerns. The traditional bank lockbox still requires a fair amount of manual re-keying data, with the majority of manual data entry attendance being entry-level admin employees who are new to the bank or an outsourced contractor. 
  • Secondly, Lockboxes don’t tie into your accounting system. (Biller Genie does.) 
  • Bank lockboxes also cause problems for your customer’s Accounts Payable departments as most companies are modernizing their AP Department to eliminate manual processes, preferring to pay customers electronically via ACH, credit card, or vCard.  These preferred methods of ePayment are creating an increase in email remittance FinTech solution companies like Biller Genie have bridged the gap to assist businesses in a cost-effective, scalable solution for automating Accounts Receivable.

Traditionally, the bank lockbox was very useful and efficient to process paper checks, but today, the shift in electronic B2B payments has created a bigger opportunity for Accounts Receivable to adopt cost-effective, cloud-based automated solutions from FinTech companies like Biller Genie, who genuinely has the SMBs best interests in mind. 

An Automated Accounts Receivable Solution Helps SMBs In Many Ways

One way A/R automation helps is in cash flow management because late payments are a frequent culprit of cash flow bottlenecks for small businesses. Late payments in a businesses’ AR operations can turn around and yield delayed payments in accounts payable. In other words, vendors getting paid late can sometimes turn into late payers themselves.

Businesses want to know “At what point in the workflow can I prevent an invoice from going past due in the first place?” Biller Genie CEO and Founder Thomas Aronica noted, “When customers don’t pay on time and receivables start to mount up, it prevents those busy business owners from investing in growth, paying vendors, or even making payroll.”

You may find that some SMB owners are resistant to modernize to automated accounts receivable, perhaps because they don’t want to risk disrupting cash flow or diverting resources into a new solution, training, and implementations. What’s important to remember here is that AR automation leaders like Biller Genie don’t disrupt the normal flow of business. They’re completely tied into the normal process of the business. All the business owner needs to do is create an invoice, the same way as they always have, and Biller Genie takes over from there— going so far as to not only set up automated reminders to customers, but also integrate into Quickbooks, Xero, and Accounting Suite, so everything is also reconciled automatically. 

Banks must continue to find new ways to innovate—and ultimately streamline—the solutions they bring to market to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Offering receivables processing solutions to corporate banking customers through partners like Biller Genie will allow them to remain competitive and in-line with what today’s SMB banking customer wants and needs.