Today’s businesses today are trying to accelerate the shift to electronic payments (e-payments), but this isn’t without challenges, says payment solutions group Wausau Financial Systems.
The Remittance Coalition, a group of organisations and individuals led by the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) of Minneapolis to promote electronic business-to-business (B2B) payments and electronic remittance data exchanges, recently found that while more than 90% of company respondents desire to increase their use of electronic payments, 65% still take payments mostly by check.
“Payment exceptions have always existed in the paper world. In the electronic world they are far more difficult to deal with,” said Gary Cawthorne, chief executive officer (CEO) of Wausau, which is a member of the coalition and offers its Receivables360 solution.
“Nearly all corporations want e-payments in their environment because they receive their money faster, but they’re finding they’re spending more time dealing with payments exceptions than they ever did before. Our technology serves to solve this industry headache, helping corporations reduce time spent handling payments exceptions.”
The disconnect between payments and electronic remittance data hits many businesses that generally receive this essential information via email, as an email attachment or through a portal. Frequently, their receivables personnel must spend hours gathering that information and associating it with the payments.
“The secret to solving this problem is all about mastering your receivables,” said Kathy Strasser, executive vice president (EVP), solution management and development, for Wausau. “To overcome the hurdle of payment association, corporations need the ability to integrate not only their payments, but the information about their payments in order to see a full 360-degree view.”
Separately, Wausau said that it will introduce a cloud-based version of Receivables360 to corporations in early 2015. The company made the announcement at the Association for Financial Professionals’ (AFP) annual conference in Las Vegas.
“We have been an innovator in e-payments for more than a decade,” said Cawthorne. “As a new option, the cloud-based delivery model will enhance our customers’ flexibility as it will augment several types of in-house, outsourced or hybrid deployments already available.
“Small- to medium-sized companies are very interested in the cloud, especially if they process their in-house work, because it is more efficient, saves IT infrastructure and other costs, and enables their IT staffs to spend more time handling more critical issues.”
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