Blackhawk Network, with its headquarters in California and 1000+ employees, operates in the prepaid gift card and payment industries. Technology management and distribution of loyalty points helped them create 'branded value' such as gift cards, telecoms, and financial service products.
But what did Blackhawk lack in delivering the best customer experience?
Servicing around the world with US and 24+ countries, there were about 150k payments made in the year with 75% being electronic. This unique global company succumbed to a slow cash application process for pre-payments. However, to provide happiness to their customers and make them experience the best of quality, Blackhawk never looked back. Instead, they developed the following four key strategies
for remittance capture and data aggregation.
The Advent of Automation
Automation is surprisingly the best thing which has happened over the last decade. Replacing human work with machines is a giant leap. Automation with fixation to the cash application process delivers an accurate order release. The payment is either through ACH or checks- with or without remittance information.
Automated cash application features give a better customer experience with minimal manual work involved. Blackhawk discovered that there was a significant amount of manual work required which was slowing down the entire cash application process.
Automation was their best bet because its implementation would set clear all the problems and would process a solution that would reduce the concerns Blackhawk had.
The Rapid and Precise Method
The cash application process not only has to be fast to give the best kind of service but it also has to be precise. The prepayments which are made by the customer should be identified quickly, giving the advantage of implementing the cash application process into remittances and invoices.
Blackhawk required a solution to cover it all. HighRadius' Cash Application Cloud
was the remedy to this long-time open wound. With multiple ERP integration, email parsing, web aggregation capability, it would be a suitable requisite for any new technology and would give miraculous results.
The deliverables given by the cash application process not only achieves high automation levels but also handle the exceptions.
The Intelligent Factor
Since automation is the next big revolution, artificial intelligence is the bridge between the real and virtual worlds. It could understand customer behavior and also automate correspondences.
Artificial Intelligence provides intelligent remittance capture, reduces payment linking, and reverses the slow and inaccurate cash application process resulting in fast order cash release and remittance aggregation.
Even if there are payments with no remittances, artificial intelligence would discover it and match it with the ERP. On the other side, it would also determine the inept cash application process with no remittance information which would harm the downstream processes.
Implementing AI would decrease significant manual work resulting in a faster order release leading to happier customers.
The Improvised Remittance
The conclusion to every story is cash posting. Handling prepayments and incomplete remittance information with cash application automation could never be this easy and would deliver straight-through cash posting.
AI in Cash Application Process gave-
- Automatic remittance data capture & aggregation
- Single source of information that finds the accurate invoice
- Auto-matched payments and remittances
- A configurable system based on customer-specific needs
The best Cash Application Solution put forward would also close any open invoices and reallocate resources to other strategic tasks.
On the whole, after several hits and trials, the best practices and lessons learned are far more strategic and evergoing.
Some brownie points learned from Blackhawk's practices-