BILL PAYMENT

Handling Bill Payment with onePAY Payments

OneDataSource President and Founder Bruce Belvin
Bruce Belvin, OneDataSource Founder & President

March 16, 2021

In today’s modern world, consumers expect options that are on demand. We’ve seen the explosion of technology helping consumers purchase any number of commercial goods with real-time payment transfers and our smartphones serving as our own personal wallets.

At the same time, we’ve seen a digital spark in the business world, and that extends to how businesses exchange funds. That makes sense. Vendors and suppliers want greater immediacy in payment along with flexible payment options. And while businesses want faster execution, they also want the benefits of greater security, control, and insight that comes with modern payment processing options.

With that in mind, let’s explore how onePAY handles the last mile of the accounts payable workflow.

Bill Payment for B2B Vendors

Checks. ACH. Virtual Cards.

onePAY’s Payments feature easily handles the last-mile of the AP process no matter your preferred method.

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Exploring the last mile of the accounts payable workflow

So, you’ve gone through invoice processing and approval. Now, invoices need to be paid. Put that way, it seemingly sounds like a simple final step. But just like the last mile of a marathon, there is a lot of effort that goes into crossing the finish line.

In a legacy, paper-based model, that’s like running the last mile of a marathon with weights around your ankle. In this model, payment processing requires an employee to determine the payment approval hierarchy, workflow, and get the final signoff for payment. Then, there are the manual steps of fulfillment including check printing, envelope stuffing, postage, and signatures on checks.

The good news is that there are a couple of great options that intelligent accounts payable automation software can provide. Here we’ll look at two primary methods delivered through our bill pay feature – onePAY Payments.

Check payment vs. ACH payment processing

Prefer paying vendors via check?

onePAY offers traditional check payment processing without the hassle of your team spending additional time on payments.

The checks that are sent via onePAY Payments reflect the ABA and Routing Number of your bank. It’s just like you’re writing a check yourself – except you don’t have to print a stack of checks, stuff envelopes, and apply postage and mailing labels.

Still have staff working remotely?  With onePAY, no one needs to be in office for a payment to be made. Payments can be made remotely by an accounts payable team member, C-level member, or owner.

Using ACH electronic payment processing for vendor payments

The second payment option offered by onePAY is ACH.

ACH payments are electronic payments that go through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. Funds transfer from one bank account to another through the network when an account number and routing number have been provided previously.

ACH payments are extremely common, examples being employers paying employees through direct deposit or businesses making payments directly to vendors. The transaction fee is low in this situation and speed is key here. Traditional ACH payments take two to three business days, but the option of same-day ACH makes fund transfer nearly instantaneous.

onePAY B2B Bill Payment

The value of bill payment with onePAY

In either scenario, there are real benefits – both tangible and intangible – to a payment module as part of your intelligent accounts payable solution. Three of the key benefits are financial transparency, cost savings, and vendor relationship management.

Financial transparency

No one would say that greater financial transparency is a bad thing in business, and that’s exactly what businesses get with our bill payment feature. Integrations between the bill payment software and accounting system means there’s visibility into expenses and payments in real-time.

AP teams gain control by being able to determine when payments are sent. With financial transparency into the balance sheet as well as a greater level of control, finance leaders can manage day-to-day operations with better cash management and improved liquidity.

That’s advantageous for the present as well as the future. The data AP departments need for reconciliation is at their fingertips. Closing the books goes from a once tedious process to straightforward and simplified.

Cost savings

Bill pay software opens the door for a number of cost benefits. The most recognizable cost savings being that of hard costs as businesses no longer have to contend with check stock, stamps and envelopes. Plus, bundled payments introduce cost savings with a singular transaction at a low rate. Finally, additional cost benefits come with taking advantage of early payment discounts.

Of note, these payment methods used by onePAY are secure and reduce the opportunity for fraud. According to an AFP report, checks continue to be the payment method most often targeted with 71 percent of companies experiencing actual or attempted check fraud. Reducing the risk of fraud also means reducing the risk of a financial impact.

Vendor relationship management

Key relationships with vendors and suppliers are vital to the success of any business. Bill pay software affords greater speed, flexibility, and visibility with vendors – all of which ultimately reinforces a strong partnership.

Simply put, with a payment processing module, payments move faster. But there’s also a level of flexibility introduced where businesses can deliver on vendors’ payment preferences. Plus, vendors can find ease in knowing payment status as the software automatically notifies them when payment has been initiated. All of which produces more intangible benefits like building goodwill and better vendor relationships.

In the virtual card model, customers have the potential to earn money back from their software provider from the transaction fees. The rebate can then be used towards reducing or eliminating your monthly technology cost.

What about virtual cards as a bill payment option?

Virtual cards are now finding increased adoption for B2B payment processing. More than a quarter of businesses anticipate increasing their use of the virtual card as a payment method in the near future, according to a report from PYMNTS. Here’s why virtual cards are a safe way to execute payments and prevent fraud:
  • The amount of the card is for the exact amount of the invoice.
  • No actual credit card data is shared with the vendor.
  • It is a one-time use card.
  • The card number the vendor receives is only good for the amount of the payment.
  • Your credit card details are not on the Internet and cannot be stolen.
With the hedge for fraud already built-in, the virtual card’s other nice perk is cash back. So, it provides you with the same benefits of a credit card or purchase card with cash back. In the virtual card model, customers have the potential to earn money back from their software provider from the transaction fees. The rebate can then be used towards reducing or eliminating your monthly technology cost. That’s a win-win!

Want to learn more about how you can transform the last mile of the accounts payable workflow? Access our Guide to a Modern Approach to Accounts Payable.

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A Guide to a Modern Approach to Accounts Payable

Learn how intelligent AP automation can turn your accounts payable into a strategic and scalable resource for your business.