It’s human nature to strive for simplicity and lift the burden of manual work from our everyday lives. History is rife with technological advancements, from the stone tools carved by our earliest ancestors, to the invention of computers and smartphones. The need for manual processes shrinks each year, although it will never disappear entirely. Automation merely removes redundant processes from our plates so we can focus more on specialized tasks.
Vendor-created Payment Exceptions
In the B2B payment world, this manual gap exists in the vendor payments process. While most vendors are delighted—and even demand—to receive automated payments, there will always be exceptions—namely, vendors who require closer attention. These are sometimes smaller vendors who operate on ingrained manual processes. But a surprising amount of resistance to electronic payments comes from larger, high-spend vendors, whose portals don’t connect with their customers’ electronic payment systems. Additionally, developing comprehensive electronic solutions for each potentially unique vendor platform would be like trying to use a hydraulic shovel to clear away a few pebbles.
Those vendors deserve to be paid in a timely manner, and their high spend incentivizes the pursuit of early-payment discounts and rebates.
If you’re currently in the market for a payment solution, it can pay off to ask prospective partners how they work with vendors holistically, and whether they have a vendor payment service option available.
AP Concierge is Nvoicepay’s answer to the growing need for specialized payment options, and is completely hands-off for customers. Our dedicated AP Concierge team represents the customer when paying high-spend vendors using methods indicated by the vendor at time of enrollment, such as by phone, or on an online portal. While it may seem contrary for a fintech company to embrace a non-automated process, we have found that it not only maximizes payment opportunities, but builds customer reputations with vendors, who are glad to not be forced to accept unfamiliar payment processes. There is value in keeping a bit of humanity in the tech world.
Of course, AP Concierge works well because the automated solution is issuing electronic payments to the majority of vendors, freeing up more time to focus on those vendors that require a little more attention. The two processes—the standard electronic payment process and AP Concierge—work symbiotically to create a holistic solution.
Plan for Contingencies
There will likely always be a need for a human element in the technology solutions, no matter how polished automation becomes. When something breaks, or when a component falls outside of a machine-driven process, it’s people who pick up the slack. So if you’re seeking an electronic payment solution, look for one that doesn’t just offer a big-picture solution, but also identifies and capitalizes on niche payments, where a surprising number of profit opportunities are gathering dust.
In the crags where automation cannot reach, human ingenuity continues to shine—even prosper—now that workdays are not bogged down by manual tasks. Accounts payable captained by humans—with automation acting as first mate—enables companies to not only survive, but thrive.
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