Understanding the payment agnostic approach to accounts payable

We live in an age where businesses try and implement everything possible in order to cut costs and get better yields from all their operations.


Accounts Payable is one such department where executives are constantly looking to improve systems and processes so that it has a positive impact on the bottom line.

 

To do this, companies look to adopt modern SaaS solutions that help them automate processes and set efficient systems to make invoice payments and manage all vendors.


When choosing such a payment processor, a criterion that has become extremely important is whether the solution is payment agnostic or not.

What is a payment agnostic approach to accounts payable?


A payment agnostic accounts payable system is one that allows its users to access and pay money through multiple payment processing methods instead of just one.


Traditionally, payment providers built systems that allowed businesses to only use one method of transferring money to others. This negatively affected the ease of transferring money.


A restriction on the payment methods meant that if you are not able to pay a vendor or supplier through a mutually comfortable method, there were chances that you would lose that business and would have to look elsewhere.


Or you might have to change your payment provider which would take a lot of time and effort. Employees would have to be retrained on the new system and it would be a hassle to shift everything from one place to another in the first place.

Benefits of payment agnostic accounts payable process


1. A multitude of options for payment methods

When you choose to use an agnostic payment software solution to process all your accounts payable, it allows you to carry out business deals with ease knowing that there will not be any major hindrances when it comes to making payments.


A modern AP expense management tool will give you the ability to pay through methods like corporate virtual cards, physical corporate cards, ACH payments, and wire transfers.


All of these payment methods enable the business to have the flexibility of choosing the right business partners as they are reassured of the convenience they have in terms of payment modes.




2. Cuts payment cost

Using a payment agnostic accounts payable system helps in cutting costs by avoiding many forms of fees that were previously levied by banks or payment providers in the form of transfer, interchange, or FX fees.


Modern AP management SaaS tools are built on robust digital infrastructure. When compared with traditional systems, they are much more powerful and efficient in their operating capabilities.


This leads to significant savings in payment processing fees and solutions that customers can use with minimal to no fees depending on the payment method. 




3. Smart AP solution

With a smart AP platform, not only do you get access to multiple payment methods but also a means to manage all your AP invoices and vendors.


When one platform itself allows you to process payments via multiple payment methods, it becomes a central system to manage and execute all your AP tasks.


Keeping this in mind SaaS tools build their product in a way that allows for multiple other features that go hand-in-hand with payment methods such as vendor database creation, invoice management, data capturing, scheduling payments.


Having all of this within one solution makes a software platform a smart solution to handle a complete payment cycle.



4. Working capital optimization

When you take a broad overview of the situation, a payment-agnostic solution basically helps you optimize your working capital for AP payments to the maximum degree possible.


Each team is given a budget to work with and a part of this budget is usually allotted for teams to collaborate with various vendors and suppliers to fulfill their tasks and operations.


When the time comes to pay these vendors and suppliers, payments will be made by the AP department through the working capital budget that was assigned to each team.


When all these payments are made using the centralized AP platform, the business is able to cut many unnecessary costs.


Related read - How to improve working capital through accounts payable for a business?


5. Address AP & vendor payment fraud

A great way to avoid internal fraud is by ensuring that the same person is not allowed to approve and process AP payments as it can lead to errors or payment to duplicate invoices.


A smart centralized AP solution allows for the creation of custom approval policies with enough levels of approvers and separates individual AP team members to process the payments once they are approved by the respective managers.


This ensures that no one person is able to process payments from start to finish without it being checked or noticed by someone else. 

How multiple payments methods allow more efficiency in business?


ACH Payments

ACH payment is a simple way of electronically transferring money from one bank to another. It only requires a bank account number and a routing number. ACH payments can be debit or credit payments in nature.


This form of payment generally takes 3-5 business days as the banks must communicate with each other and verify the transactions. This makes them extremely secure and a trusted form of making payments.


Another benefit of an ACH transfer is that they usually have a lower transaction fee when compared to credit cards or wire transfers. This makes it a great choice for businesses that want to save a little bit of money.



Wire transfers

Wire transfers are another form of digital payment method. Wire transfers differ from ACH transfers in the sense that they are much faster but at the same time might be a little less secure depending on the type of wire transfer.



Virtual cards

Virtual cards are similar to physical cards with the difference being that they can only be used for online payments. The advantage of using virtual cards is that you can create an unlimited amount of cards at no extra cost.


This is an ideal situation for businesses that have multiple online expenses that they need to manage and control at a very minute level.


A smart AP solution like Volopay lets you create unlimited virtual cards for your business and also set custom spending limits on each one of them so that there is no chance of overspending.




Credit-enabled corporate cards

Volopay also provides credit-enabled physical corporate cards. You can issue one unique card for each employee so that they can easily manage all their online and offline business expenses required to fulfill their operational tasks.


These cards can also be set with custom spending limits so that there is no overspending. By doing this, you help employees make business decisions faster without having to take approvals for every payment.

 

When you choose to use a payment agnostic accounts payable system like Volopay, you ensure that you are making the most of your finances and giving your team the best experience possible when it comes to handling AP.

Get started with Volopay’s automated accounts payable process