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Payment Command Center Tackles B2B Payment Error Rate

Kim Pendergrass

We recently announced the Nvoicepay Payment Command Center (PCC). Why a payment command center?

support specialist at nvoicepay's payment command center

Because B2B payments are tough

Anyone in accounts payables knows there’s so much more to paying suppliers than just transferring money from one party to another.

You might think that in 2015, payments would already be 100 percent automated, but most businesses are far from that. The only part that’s automated is the pipe that transfers money from bank to bank. Today enterprises are moving only a small portion of their payments through these pipes.

Why? Let’s look closer at what happens in accounts payable. AP teams still spend a big chunk of their time chasing down information and errors before and after a payment is made. The error rate associated with invoices is astonishingly high.

Typical accounts payable errors are duplicate payments, wrong amounts, wrong account numbers or other incorrect information. That’s on the front end. On the back end, errors happen as well. Maybe the supplier didn’t record the payment correctly and didn’t recognize that they were paid. Maybe they didn’t deposit the check. Or they matched the payment to the wrong invoice. Many errors are not errors at all, just missing information.

When you’re making tens or hundreds of thousands of payments, it gets to be a pretty big problem, even if your error rate is only 6 percent 

Most companies work with a handful of strategic suppliers that account for a large volume of payment dollars. These payments tend to go smoothly and are the easiest to automate because there is constant communication going back and forth. Then there are other suppliers you do business with who maybe you pay once a year, and then a whole bunch more who are somewhere in between. Making sure they are all paid correctly is important too.

Nvoicepay uses cloud-based software to reduce payment errors. Our solution prevents many of these errors before they happen. Our software is scanning for errors as we receive payment information from customers. We catch problems and alert the customer giving them a chance to fix the problem before it happens, saving an extraordinary amount of time and frustration in the process.

We also reduce errors and questions for suppliers. We provide suppliers a portal where they see all the invoices their customers have paid. Both sides can see when a payment is pending, approved, processing and complete.

This dramatically cuts down on questions and time spent on research and reconciliation

However, not all possible errors can be prevented with technology. Humans are involved, so things can still go wrong. We use our humans, not yours, to make them right. With our Payment Command Center, we step up to handling any of the errors that might still occur saving our customers time and energy.

We're reducing errors because we take ownership of setting up suppliers, collecting the information required to pay them and maintaining that information over time.

The software is there to reduce errors and questions before they happen, but when somebody does have a question, we have people to answer it. Questions about payments have to be resolved immediately because there's money in flight. So, we handle those on behalf of our customers to ensure that their vendors are paid efficiently.

The Payment Command Center is about adding the end-to-end services businesses need to attack this problem and fully automate payments: Supplier enablement, supplier payment information management and payment support. It’s about making it so easy all AP has to do is press pay and the payment is guaranteed from there, so B2B payments can finally be simple.

Follow the conversation about strategic payments on Twitter at @KarlaFriede.