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This webinar speaks about how to influence customers to embrace e-payment adoption. Join Mark Brousseau, President of Brousseau & Associates, and Siddharth Subramani, Digital Transformation Consultant at HighRadius, as they discuss the features of a best-in-class Electronic Invoicing Presentment and Payment (EIPP) solution and how it solves the common challenges associated with outdated manual payment methods.

On Demand Webinar

4 Steps to 90%+ Customer ePayment Adoption and Touchless Processing with Artificial Intelligence

Session Summary

This webinar speaks about how to influence customers to embrace e-payment adoption. Join Mark Brousseau, President of Brousseau & Associates, and Siddharth Subramani, Digital Transformation Consultant at HighRadius, as they discuss the features of a best-in-class Electronic Invoicing Presentment and Payment (EIPP) solution and how it solves the common challenges associated with outdated manual payment methods.

Key Takeaways

Educate the customers to shift towards an e-payment platform
[09:30]

Highlights

  • Customers are concerned about the cost, security, and user-friendliness of digital payment platforms
  • Communicate how digital billing and payment platforms are faster, more accurate, more transparent, and less risky
  • Plan the transition towards e-payment platforms in a customer-centric way
The key features of an ideal, customer-centric digital billing and payments solution
[21:16]

Highlights

  • Choose from different payment modes and remit payments based on convenience
  • Ease of access to invoices 24/7 through self-serving portals and automated supplier correspondence
  • Single source of visibility for invoices, statements, etc. via an intuitive dashboard enabled with smart notifications
  • Secure payment transactions with two-factor authentication
4 steps to drive e-payment adoption in a customer-centric way - The American Greetings story
[27:53]

Highlights

  • Introduced the solution to customers via “coming soon” emails
  • Coached the sales team through webinars and a one-page sell sheet to educate customers
  • Communicated to customers for self-registration on go-live day
  • Shared downloadable user manual and technology partner contact post go-live
Leveraging AI to tackle common challenges associated with e-payment.
[38:23]

Highlights

  • Uses Promise-to-Pay against any invoices as remittance information
  • Predicts the probability of a customer sharing remittance information based on their payment behavior
  • Emails are automatically attached with a link to submit remittance information against open invoices

Kelsey (Facilitator)  0:04 

Welcome, and thank you for joining us for today’s webinar, four steps to 90% or more customer e payment adoption and touchless processing with artificial intelligence, brought to you by IOFM and sponsored by HighRadius. We have a few housekeeping notes to go over before we get started. If you have any technical questions or issues using the WebEx platform, please use the chatbox and I will respond right away. If you have any issues with audio, please click on the phone icon above the chat window to receive the teleconference information. For those that do call in to ensure call quality everyone’s lines have been muted today. If you happen to get disconnected, you can log on again using the instructions provided in your webinar confirmation email. If you continue to experience difficulty, please email webinars at Iofm.com and we will respond right away. We encourage you to ask questions throughout the presentation. Please type your questions into the chatbox and hit send to submit them. At the end of the presentation, we will have our presenters answer questions. We will also have four polling questions during the webinar. A pop-up box will appear when we run each poll. Please choose from the multiple-choice answers and hit submit. We would love your participation and insight today. This webinar will be recorded and you will receive a thank you email with the on-demand materials within three business days. Our speakers for today are Mark Brousseau and Sid Subramani. Over the past 26 years, Mark Brousseau has established himself as a thought leader on accounts payable, accounts receivable payments, and document automation, a popular speaker at industry conferences and on webinars and podcasts. Russo advises prominent end-users and solutions and services providers on how to use automation to improve document and payments driven business processes. Russo has chaired numerous educational conferences and has served on several industry committees and boards. He resides in Center City, Philadelphia with his wife and three sons. Six Subramani has been with HighRadius for over three years. In his various roles. He has designed and implemented multiple complex solutions on the receivables portion as a digital transformation consultant that conducts deep-dive assessments, builds business cases, slash ROI, and benchmarking presentations. And at this time, I would like to welcome our speakers and hand the webinar off to Mark.

Mark Brousseau  2:50  

Hey, thank you so much, Kelsey. And thank you all for joining us today. There’s no question that COVID-19 has completely upended the way that businesses operate. And for proof of this look no further than the way it is that we process the payments we receive from our customers. Over the past several months, we’ve seen a big upswing in electronic payments. The question is, how can we optimize this opportunity? How can we make sure that we’re receiving as many electronic payments as possible? And we’re eliminating paper on the front end by electronic filing our bill presentment as well. That’s the focus of today’s webinar, we’re going to show you how your organization can use best practices and innovative technologies to drive customer adoption of electronic billing and payments. But before we do all that, we wanted to start with a poll question, which is about to be displayed on your screen. We want to know have you seen a spike in electronic payments your organization receives in 2020? Yes, a lot. Yes, to some extent. Not sure. or No. Take a moment to respond to the poll question now displayed on your screen. And we’re going to discuss the results in just a moment. So Sid, what are you hearing from the trenches? What are your customers telling you? They’re seeing when it comes to the volume of electronic payments that they receive? Well, in general, the mock D trend across our customers is an increase in electronic payment simply because it’s more convenient for customers to make a payment electronically from wherever they are as opposed to having to physically mail in a check. It begs the question what’s taken so long in the business-to-business payments, to elect to get to electronification Why are we still talking about this after all as consumers? We are readily adopting electronic payments. Well, I think it’s in general but anything from B2B If it works, don’t fix it. But it’s taken maybe a pandemic almost to, you know, start helping people realize the benefits of shifting to a more electronic form of payment. Europe, I believe has seen this much more compared to us in the terms of electronic payments, exceeding the number of check payments that are coming in. Do you anticipate that this is going to be sustained growth from this point on? Will the pandemic be the death knell for paper checks and business-to-business payments? Well, yes, and no, I feel that there’s going to be a growth in this as people see the ease with which you know, the electronic pipe can be set up automated, they’ll start shifting towards that. I don’t think it will necessarily be the death of check payments or paper payments right now, but it’s heading in that direction. We asked our attendees if they had seen a spike in the volume of electronic payments that their organization receives in 2020. 48% of the attendees on the line say yes, to some extent, another 24% of them say yes, a lot. By my math, that means that 72% of our attendees said that their volume of electronic payments has increased in 2020. And one and for the folks on the line say they’ve increased by a lot. Does it surprise you? No, I don’t say I think this falls within the patterns I have been expecting. They’ve done such a great job with that poll question and said let’s ask them one more. This time, we want to know what is your biggest challenge in processing? Electronic Payments? It decoupled remittance details. Is it the no remittance? Is it a high volume of exceptions? Or is it something else? Take a moment to respond to the poll question now displayed on your screen. And we’ll discuss the results in just a moment. So said let’s face it, years ago, when folks were talking about electronic payments and B2B, they were presented as being Nirvana paradise, it’d be effortless. It hasn’t worked out quite that way. Well, from a remittance perspective, what are the challenges that you faced with electronic payments, and we’ll cover more? Well, we’ll get more into that as we go into the presentation is the fact that the remittance that comes in typically is not set with the payment itself. And this can lead to the additional workload from a cash application analyst perspective as they try to figure out which payments need to be applied to which invoices, and this involves searching for the payments that have come in linking them up with the remittance that might have come in separately. And then ultimately finding the invoices that have to be cleared with it, not to mention any reference numbers that the customers might have used, which has kept it from being Nirvana, as you put it.

Mark Brousseau  7:53  

Yeah. And things are getting worse aren’t they? I mean, after all, we have more regulation, more volume, electronic payments, more electronic payments types, and more demand for the data from those payments. If you don’t do something about this, you’re going to be in hot water over the next couple of years, won’t you? Absolutely. So we asked our attendees, what is their biggest challenge when it comes to processing those electronic payments that they receive, as you correctly pointed out, said, No remittance detail is the biggest challenge for 42% of our attendees. 21% of our attendees identified decoupled remittance details as being their biggest challenge. 5% said a high volume of exceptions. 26% of you said it’s something else. Well, I’m not going to let you off that easily. If you’re one of the 26%, who said you have a different type of challenge, I want you to use your q&a tool, and just let me know what that challenge is. And I’m going to make a deal. We’re gonna give you some free advice at the end of this call. So when it comes to electronic payments, we’ve certainly seen a shift toward digitization. Finally, today, we’re going to talk about what’s driving that shift to E payments. We’ll talk about this idea of a customer-centric billing and payments solution. And we’re going to show you a case study of American greeting the company that put the strategies we’re going to discuss today to work in their organization. And we’ll also talk to you about how straight-through processing can be achieved if you have the right technology. Well COVID-19 has had a big impact on this whole discussion about electronic payments in receivables. Over the past several months, we’ve seen a huge upswing in the volume of electronic payments that our friends and accounts payable have been making before COVID 19 41% of the accounts payable department said they made at least half of their supplier payments by cheques. Fast forward to today, today That percentage of AP departments that make at least half of their payments by cheque has declined by seven percentage points to 34%. Think about that. We’ve accomplished more in the past three months of driving down the percentage of check payments than we accomplished in the past several years. But if you want to see further proof of what’s going on with electronic payments, get a load of this before COVID-19. None of the accounts payable departments surveyed said that they made all of their payments to their suppliers electronically, they were making at least some paper check payments. But today 3% of Accounts Payable departments have gone completely electronic. That would have been unheard of just a few years ago, maybe even just a few months ago. But incredibly, more of those departments expect that they will be going completely electronic in the next several months. In other words, just to sit intubated, they expect to build on the momentum. Now, this isn’t to mean that it’s going to be easy, convincing your customers to pay you electronically. A lot of buyers are still reluctant to move to a digital billing and payment platform. A lot of them think that digital billing and payment work well. It’s not user-friendly, it’s not secure. Maybe they think that it’s too expensive. And that’s why 34% of B2B payments are still made by paper checks. So we’ve got this tug of war going on. suppliers want faster payments, and they’re investing in electronic billing and payment solutions. But on the other side, not all customers are willing to change. And to tackle this to avoid this deadlock, where both sides are just pulling on the row part and not really getting anywhere. Well, billers are going to need to have a step-by-step process to help convince customers to migrate to electronic payments. You can’t count on a pandemic or just atrophy to get it done for you. Now, here’s the crazy thing. Digital billing and payments platforms can be extremely customer-centric. They are extremely secure, and they are much more affordable than outdated manual approaches to billing and payments. Sure, suppliers benefit from Faster Payments. But there’s something in this for buyers: EIPP solutions are faster, more accurate, more transparent, and less risky than those outdated manual approaches to billing and payments. This should be tantalizing to our buyers. And this is why we call what we call in the business, a win-win solution for suppliers and for buyers. The question is, how do we convince buyers of all of this? Well, it’s on you guys. suppliers need to lead the way to electronic billing and electronic payment adoption, and they need to do it in two ways. First, they need to help their buyers understand how digital billing and payment platforms are useful to them, not just to you. Second, they need to plan their transition towards digital billing and payment in a more customer-centric way. So let’s take a little deeper dive into this. First of all, suppliers can assume that customers recognize the benefits of digital invoicing and payments. You need to explain that these solutions help ensure that their invoices are never lost or misrouted that they can access their current invoices and past invoice information 24/7 from any device, that electronic billing and payments are cheaper, faster, more transparent, particularly when it comes to paper checks that reconciling electronic payments is a snap. In most cases, it’s effortlessly done automatically in real-time. And that electronic payments can be a linchpin to optimizing working capital This is really compelling to AP departments right now. These are the types of things my friends are sure to get your buyer’s attention. Similarly, suppliers need to show customers how user-friendly and customer-centric the EIPP platform can be. And this isn’t a marketing spin. They really are customer-centric. You need to empathize with that with the EIPP solution. Invoices can be delivered electronically in the format that the customer desires. EIPP solutions can support multiple delivery methods, as well as multiple invoice formats and letter templates. That means it’s easy to find information on a bill to know exactly just what you need. But not only that, invoice-related backup can be electronically attached, so that customers have everything they need to pay you right at their fingertips, they don’t need to pick up the phone and ask you for more information. They also need to know that electronic payments can be made in the way that they prefer, they can even schedule future or recurring payments. So now the process of paying you becomes easy. And a self-administered portal makes it easy for customers to access and manage all of their invoices and account statements, create disputes, and make payments all in one place at their convenience. without logging into multiple portals. Customer Experience has surpassed price as a key driver of customer loyalty. This is why you see all those insurance companies advertising their service on television.Well, the same is true when it comes to B2B. And the customer-centric features of an EIPP platform can help your business deliver the experience that your customers expect, and in many cases that they demand. That brings us to our next poll question, which is about to be displayed on your screen. This time, we want to know what is your biggest expectation? From a supplier payment portal? Is it providing convenient modes for payment? Is it 24/7? Easy access to invoices for your customers? Is it secured payment transactions? Is it intuitive customer dashboards? Take a moment to respond to the poll question now displayed on your screen. And we’ll discuss the results in just a moment. So sick when it comes to portals. Let’s face it. Some companies have given portals a bad name. There were some bad portals out there before. What’s changed over time? What is a best-in-class portal provides that some of that older technology just didn’t do.

Siddharth Subramani   17:40

I mean, that’s a fair question mark, I would say based on what you’ve told us, it’s all of the above. Customers want, you know, convenient modes for payment. They want to have, you know, continuous access or full-time access to invoices, they want to make sure that all those payments are secured. And last but not least in order to make all of this easier for them. To your point, you know about customer-centric experiences, they want an intuitive dashboard that gives them the information that it needs. So the expectation from people making these payments has essentially driven that. And I think we’ve already seen some of that because a lot of us make payments on credit cards or our monthly rent using an electronic platform if you think about it. Absolutely. Is it safe to say that a bad portal can cost you a customer? Absolutely. We asked our attendees What is your biggest expectation from a supplier payment portal. 29% of you said convenient modes for payment, another 29% for portals that secure one in four of you say 24/7 Easy access to invoices. And 19% of you said intuitive customer dashboards. Does any of this surprise you? Nope. I think that goes back to what we talked about that everyone wants all of the above. So the even split kind of indicates that to me, I would say and this should be your shopping list. When it comes to looking for a portal. Don’t settle for one that hits two or even just three of these, you should expect that your portal can deliver all of this. So with our poll question in our back pocket, the question becomes what is it customers are looking for in a digital billing and payment solution? Well, research tells us that there are four things that drive customers to EIPP solutions. First, the ability to make a payment in their preferred mode of convenience. There are lots of payment methods out there, and your customers probably have some ideas on how it is they want to make their payments. Don’t force-fit them into a one size fits all approach. Let them pay you the way they want to pay you. Second, the ability to receive their invoices in The easiest manner without having to log on to multiple places come on that’s sold. Third, customers are looking for the ability to access all the required information in one place, making it easy for them to do business with you. And they’ll be more likely to continue doing business with you and forth. Customers are looking for the peace of mind that older transactions occur in a safe and secured environment with all the regulatory compliances met. But when it comes to what it is that businesses are providing, and portals, well, most customers are getting something else altogether. The EIPP solutions delivered by many suppliers are too basic. They provide limited support for local currencies. In some cases, they require buyers to pay according to the suppliers’ preferred mode of payment, not the way that they want to pay. So what would an ideal EIPP solution look like? And how can you pick one? Well, let me hand it over to Sid to explain that to your sip. Thanks, Mark. And I think what we’re trying to focus on over the next, you know, couple of slides is to take a look at the key features that technology can provide, which can make up a best in class customer-centric digital Billing and Payment Platform. And the first part of that, as Mark mentioned, is to provide that flexibility to your different customers. From a payment options perspective, you’re looking at enabling different options for them, so that they can choose which one depending on their convenience. In addition to that, integrating a solution with popular accounting solutions, or tools can also make it even easier for them to select specific invoices that they want to make payments on when they’re trying to schedule a bulk payment. An example of what this looks like with a billing platform would be to select an electronic form of payment, whether that’s ACH or credit card to name a few examples, and other options as well, depending on what works for them. One of the common points that comes up with credit card payments with customers is the fees that are associated with that. And part of this can be recouped by potentially charging either a convenience fee or a surcharge fee, depending on what makes sense for you and your customers.

Siddharth Subramani    22:32  

Similarly, enabling payments by scanning through mobile is a good way to drive adoption, since they do not necessarily have to log into a portal to make the payment. Rather when they receive that invoice copy either by clicking the link if it’s digital or scanning a code, in case it’s a print and mail format will allow them to make payments on those specific invoices or maybe even on a statement without having to go through too much hassle. What this means essentially at the end of the day is you’re making it easier for your customers to make payments on invoices by giving them the flexibility to choose what payment method they want to use, but at the same time, making it easy for them to make that payment as well without having them go through a number of hoops either in order to set up an account or set up a specific payment method. Integration with accounting portals or accounting tools is another way of doing that. In scenarios where an AP individual has to make payments on multiple if not hundreds of invoices at one time, instead of having to select them or figure out what the total is integrating with let’s say, for example, a QuickBooks solution would enable them to automate that process of payment, making it easy for them to make those payments as well. and QuickBooks is just one example. But there are numerous examples like says and amongst others that can be added to this portfolio. The second part, like Mark mentioned, is having that ease of access to invoices, whether that means coming onto a portal to access those invoices, or alternatively scheduling these to go out so that they automatically receive it, whether it’s account statements that go out once a month, Dunning emails are blocked or emails that go out when an order goes on hold status. Enabling them to pay either by logging onto the portal or without actually logging on can be a quick way to settle these and make it easier for both your team and the customer to make these payments. So sending them an email like this would allow them to either log into a portal, or potentially pay as a guest without having to go through that whole process. What this means is from their perspective, you’re making it very easy for them to make those payments. But from your perspective, it’s easy for you as well, since you don’t have to go through the process of setting them up or potentially having to wait for them to make payments in a paper fashion which could take much longer as compared to an electronic payment. So There are benefits on both sides of the coin.

Siddharth Subramani   25:07 

The next step is to release a blocked order. A lot of times customers go into blocked order status because they have exceeded their credit limit. And this might involve either reaching out to the collections team or potentially reaching out to other members within your customer’s contacts to figure out how to make that payment. If you’re able to automate this process, by enabling specific invoices to be paid clear of that blocked order status, so that the current order can be released. That’s something that would make it easy for both you and your customers. And very similar to before, having that flexibility to choose, you know how they want to make that payment just makes it easier for them. A single source of visibility, of course, is very important, since you do not have to log into multiple areas to get the information that they need, whether that’s looking at the aging of their invoices with you downloading statements on an ad hoc basis, managing their payment methods, even setting up an auto payment, so they don’t have to come to the portal anymore. Just makes it easier for them. An easy example of this from an intuitive dashboard perspective is to look at invoices that fall within a specific aging bucket and then make those payments without having to actually select each individual invoice that falls within that bucket. That’s a way of making this easier for them. Another is creating notifications for your customer so that they know when credit cards are about to expire. And they need to update that. Or alternatively, if they’ve given you collateral, updating that collateral without having to reach out to them or preemptively working on these so that none of these cause any issues going down the line making for a much smoother customer experience, where they’re not entering either into any blocked order status, or potentially expired credit cards that might hold up a payment. And last, but probably the most important is having secure payment transactions. And, you know, with the coming of digital payments, this has been a very hot topic. And some of the ways that you can make sure that the information that they’re giving you a secure is to enable multi-factor customer’s authentication, which might require them to enter a one-time authorization code in order to access that account, or alternatively create a single sign-on so that they don’t have to send their login details again. Another example of this could be making sure that your process is fully PCI compliant from a credit card perspective so that you’re fully adhering to all the security protocols. Ultimately, suppliers must lead the way in order to pave that path to make that transition, much more customer-centric, to bring them on board. And I think the easiest way to explain this is through a case study where American Greetings wanted to drive E adoption for their end-users. And to look at the four parameters that they considered in order to make it a customer-centric implementation. The first item that they wanted to approach or that they wanted to make sure was on point was that they were always approachable at no point did they want their customers to feel abandoned. The second part was to maintain clear and consistent channels of communication for any updates or changes that are coming up. And this is important as you’re shifting to a different payment method or you’re shifting to an EIPP portal, so to speak, since that is a change in their current process in order to make it easy for them to come on board, creating or designing a user manual and update to the latest features that are available that can be shared or is available to their customers. And then last but not least, keeping the enrollment campaigns or updating I’m sorry, updating the enrollment campaigns as the user base changes or as the times change to take advantage of the latest that technology has to offer. So we’ll dive into each of these ones one by one to give a better idea. But before we go there. From an overview perspective, this is how American Greetings went through its process. The first step was to introduce the solution to their customers by appraising them of the changes that would come. And they did this by providing a sneak peek into the solution so that the customers knew what to expect, and how they could plan for that change as well. But not only that, but they also made sure to include all internal communications to let’s say, their sales team, for example, since sales would be able to drive this as well. And understanding you know, the changes that were coming in would enable them to communicate better with their end customers.

Siddharth Subramani    29:48  

Of course, on the day that the solution went live, make sure that all teams are on board both externally and internally to make sure that there’s a smooth transition. And once the solution has gone live Making sure that that post-care release is completed as well, so that any changes that need to be made are updated. And all customers are kept up to date on that. So to dive into each one in a little bit more detail, the way American Greetings prepared customers for change was to send out letters soon, which informed them of the benefits that the tool could bring in from an electronic perspective, and even giving them the option of pre-registering for it. So that customers who were interested in it could sign up for it as soon as it came out. The collector team was also given knowledge of this so that they could include that within their email signatures since the collectors would also be using this solution when sending out their past notices. As the solution was implemented, they made sure to coach their sales team as well creating product demos and webinars to ensure a high level of familiarity so that later on if any customer approached them with any questions, they would have the ability to help them and at the same time, promote an electronic platform. And then to better facilitate this on an ongoing basis, they created a very simple sell sheet. That was a one-pager that could be shared with all of their customers to make it easy for them to understand the changes that were coming in. On the Go Live day, they sent out an announcement to all of their customers providing multiple methods of self-registration, keeping the URL embedded within the American Greetings website, and at the same time, having their users go through all of these different pieces and provide different tips that would make for a better user experience. And of course, since all of their internal team members had been brought up to speed with regards to the new tool that was coming about having that help desk, also helped them tackle common implementation issues that might come up. And then last but not least, for the post-release kept perspective. All the deep-dive EIPP correspondences included their contact information, creating that user manual in a PDF format that could be shared with their customers. And then updating those monthly statement templates helped make sure that after going live, that mode of communication was constantly maintained, and the customers were kept up to date with the latest information. And a lot to make the transition process smoother. All the information was shared prior with a HighRadius to make sure that when the system went live, everything was available, had been tested out, and was working as expected. What this LED from an up from a business perspective for air gas, or for American Greetings, excuse me, is that the daily seeds outstanding reduce since electronic payments have a faster Order-To-Cash cycle and allow them to realize these funds faster. It reduced the invoice delivery costs for them since the number of invoices that went out via print and mail went down. And a lot of it was shifted to electronic delivery, whether it was uploading them automatically to web portals or pushing them to AP tools. Last but not least, the payment processing costs went down since there was a reduced cost for paper processing and shifting those payments to E payments, and then potentially charging a convenience or surcharge fee where it makes sense. So that at a high level was the different benefits that technology can bring in and how American Greetings was able to leverage that to shift to a more electronic form of invoicing as well as payment. I think with that being said, I’ll hand it back to you Mark.

Mark Brousseau  33:44

Planning one of the things you need to know when it comes to driving the adoption of electronic payments is that technology is critical to ensuring that you can streamline the reconciliation issues you’re likely to encounter as well. One of the dirty little secrets is that there are reconciliation issues that need to be dealt with when it comes to Faster Payments. There are really three different scenarios that you need to ensure that your technology can handle. First is decoupled remittance details. The second is a high volume of exceptions. And then the third is a scenario where you have no remittance information. Let’s take a deeper look at all three of these different scenarios. I saw that one of our attendees wrote in to say, Hey, Mark, what the heck as a decoupled remittance. Well, you’re a lucky person if you’re asking this question, because detached or decoupled remittance details are a big problem for many organizations, especially for payments received in the field electronically or via cheque when an electronic payment is deposited into a supplier’s bank account. Well, customers typically send the detailed remittance information to the payments separately in an email or a spreadsheet or a PDF, email attachment. And you might have different workflows for different types of remittances. And so that means that not only getting this document in a different method, maybe at a different time, now it’s going to go through a different workflow. And what happens is that an accounts receivable professional must then reassociate the remittance information with that payment. Things only get worse, remits information off so often arrives on a different day than the payment, in many cases, remittance information is in a format that you can upload automatically into your ERP application. So that means you’re doing the key, a lot of keying in many cases, and sometimes customers don’t send any remittance information. Some of the remittance information you receive might also be wrong. And that’s even the case if you use a third-party bank, lockbox, to process payments for you and provide you back some details. In many cases organizations are dealing with wrong or incomplete invoice numbers. So here, again, someone’s got key data. In many cases, they have to hunt down data. And if you’re working with systems that aren’t well integrated, well, now you’ve got to do a lot of work to track that information down. And today, because so many of our clean transactions have gone electronic, the volume of exceptions we receive is going up. After all, it’s going to be those complex transactions that are the last go to electronic payments in many instances. So some of you have 20% of your transactions or more that are resulting in an exception. And finally, there’s also the scenario where you never receive a remittance document at all. And when you don’t have that data to be able to figure out how to post payment. Well, now you’re going to have delays and cash applications, you might have to manually reach out to the customer to figure out what it is you’re supposed to do with that payment. And you also might have difficulty in tracking short pays. And it would be very tempting to just write all that off. But come on now, who can do that in today’s economy? So the question is, how do we tackle these challenges? How is it that automation can help us tackle these challenges? Well, today it’s possible that you can process even these types of cases straight through without human operator intervention. If you use artificial intelligence-powered cash application technology, I’m going to hand it back over to Sid so he can explain the key features of a cash application solution that will solve these three problems. Sid.

Siddharth Subramani   38:20

Thanks, Mark. I think before we get into the application, one thing that I did want to mention was if you’re able to onboard customers through an EIPP platform that eliminates the need to worry about remittances and making matching payments using remittance information since the customers are directly selecting the invoices, but while we get to that state, right, can everyone hear me, yep. Relevance but while we get there, there is like Mark mentioned a lot that technology can do in order to enable your team to process cash straight through. The first is to promise the base that has been created from a collector as a remittance. So the idea is, while they’re going about their day to day collection activities, if a collector is able to record a promise or a committed amount, that information can be used, while a customer makes a payment, especially if the amounts match in order to understand which invoices are being paid. And through a tool that can gather both of these pieces of information, this can be automated without your team having to touch it since the collector has already recorded that information. Another way of going about it, and this is gaining more relevance now as Mark mentioned, is to utilize artificial intelligence that looks at your customer’s past payment behavior. And the reason this is becoming more and more important is that as customers do more business with you, there is a wealth of information available within your ERP systems based on how they’ve paid you over the last, you know, years to decades even. So the idea is to leverage all of this information and use it to your benefit to understand how customers typically tend to pay. An easy example is to look at customers who always tend to pay the oldest invoices first. It might be more complex than that, where they look at other factors, such as your numbers. But the idea would be to look at all of this information and build a model at a customer level. And when remittance information is not available for the system to make predictions on which invoices could potentially be closed when a payment comes in. And since this is a machine learning or AI algorithm, it’s not going to suggest just one option, it’s going to give your team a couple of options to select from by tagging those specific invoices that total up to that payment, along with a probability match. And this is where it can enable your team since when they come in and select the one that makes the most sense. The system will continue to learn from these on an ongoing basis to account for any changes in customer payment behavior, thereby utilizing all the information that’s available in order to make that ideal prediction. So a lot of this can be used to solve those known remit scenarios that are very common across electron payments that are coming in or even decoupled remittances, for that matter. This process is to request remittance information. Now, this is not always an ideal process, since customers do not typically respond. But where technology can cover and make this easier for your customers is to instead of giving them an open email where they respond to it by giving a maybe a list of remittances that they have to pay, sending them a link that allows them to select from a list of open invoices with you and decide which ones should be applied. What this is going to mean at the end of the day for your team is instead of waiting for that email to come back, and then understanding which payment it should be applied against. Your customer is able to select specific invoices which makes it easier for them. But as soon as the information comes into an automated solution, it can automatically be matched to open invoices in order to apply for those payments. So with that said, I want to hand it back to you Mark so that you can continue this discussion.

Mark Brousseau  42:25

Absolutely. And if you could give me control. Kelsey, Thank you. That brings us to our next poll question which is about to be displayed on your screen. What do you know? Would you be interested in learning further how HighRadius can help you improve your invoice to cash process? Yes, connect me to an expert. Yes. Send me some research material. Yes, but not at the moment? No, you’re not interested. Take a moment to respond to the poll question now displayed on your screen. And while you do that, Sid wanted to tell us a little bit about the HighRadius Sid. Talk to us about your company. Absolutely.

Siddharth Subramani   43:09

Thank you, Mark. So, HighRadius is an integrated receivables solution provider covering solutions from the credit space to EIPP, which we discussed in detail today. Cash app as well which deals with applying for auto payments as they have come in with or without remittance information. The deductions cloud focuses on helping your team validate and work on any short payments by aggregating the data that your team needs. And last but not least, the collections cloud which enables your collections team by giving them a prioritized worklist to follow up with your customer’s the treasury management piece deals more with bank reconciliation and Cash Forecasting, based on the different ways in which you’re receiving payments, whether it’s through promises to pay or alternate forms of payment methods. But how it is itself that has incorporated artificial intelligence into all of our solutions in order to best fit the use case. From a cash application perspective, we are obviously looking at predicting remittance information when there is none available. But more recently, launching that radius one AR suite in order to drive adoption towards an electronic presentment. And a payment portal in order to accommodate the current Prime COVID times is something that we’re focusing on. We’re currently trusted by over 2200 plus fortune 1000 companies and process over a trillion dollars in transactions through the integrated receivables and Treasury Management Cloud. And we have implemented a lot of solutions. This is a partial list of customers who utilize a solution. But across them, we’ve implemented over 950 Finance transformation projects, which span over six continents and 45 countries. And from a footmark perspective, while we’re headquartered in Houston, Texas, we have offices across the globe, including London, Hyderabad, in India, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Frankfurt, Germany. With that said, I did want to close that by inviting you all to the credit tech 2020 session, which is an online conference for audit to cache professionals that’s happening later on this month. And we already have over 500 plus attendees along with daily networking sessions with experts on their success stories and to give you an idea of, you know, what technology can do across the auditor cash space.

Mark Brousseau  45:42

And with that, we want to address the questions that have been pouring in, said Brace yourself, we have a lot of our attendees who want to know what advice would you give for convincing small businesses to pay us electronically, our mom and pop customers just don’t seem interested in electronic payments.

Siddharth Subramani   45:57

So for the moment pop shops typically what we have noticed in our customer base is generally the larger customers that do not want to shift to a more electronic form of payment. With mom-and-pop shops, it actually is easier to bring them on board. And there are a couple of reasons. More recently, you know, with COVID, becoming a bigger and bigger issue, a lot of them find it easier to make payments from the ease of their home using electronic payments, as opposed to having to physically mail in a check. In addition to that, just because of the faster processing times a lot of mom and pop shops tend to have a much lower credit limit. And making those electronic payments allows them or allows the credit limit I should say to be freed up in a faster fashion, allowing them to do more business.

Mark Brousseau  46:52

Another one of our attendees wants to know whether moving to an EIP P solution is a good time to consider redesigning your invoice format. You mentioned that the technology allows for any sort of a template, is this a time to start rethinking the way your invoices are laid out?

Siddharth Subramani   47:14

Absolutely. Shifting to a new platform like this allows you to change the format that you want. But more importantly, because it is technology, you will have the flexibility to view different options before you settle on one. And making changes to these invoice templates on an ongoing basis is easier as well since all that detail or all that information is stored within that online platform. So yes to the changing piece. No time like the present, so to speak. But on an ongoing basis if you want to update it, not having to involve IT is a common item that piques the interest of a lot of our customers.

Mark Brousseau  47:53

Another attendee writes in Does your solution eliminate decoupled remittance information for just certain payment types, or for all payment types?

Siddharth Subramani   48:01

That’s a very fair question. From a decoupled remittance perspective. It’s the solution is agnostic, meaning that regardless of whether it’s coming for cheque or electronic, or across different remittance options, whether it’s email, whether the information is stored on the customer portal, the idea is all that information is gathered in one place, and then the system automatically does the matching in the backend without having your team look into it unless there is an exception.

Mark Brousseau  48:25

Another one of our attendees writes in our digital billing and payments solution portals set up to fit each customer’s liking, and if so, how would that affect what you see on your side of the portal?

Siddharth Subramani   48:41

That’s a very fair question. So the digital solution is customer-facing meaning that it is a merchant branded portal. So when your customers log in, they can customize it to make it look and feel like it’s part of your own platform. A lot of our customers tend to host that information within their own website, meaning that most customers don’t have to sign into a separate place, indicating that they’re going to a different location. So yes to making them look and feel like your own portal.

Mark Brousseau  49:15

Another attendee writes, How would you accommodate customers who prefer to deal with a human over portals?”

Siddharth Subramani   48:01

So from that perspective, there are two ways to look at it. The first would be no human will have 24/7 access, or will be available 24/7, I should say. But giving them that self-service means that they can do it as per their convenience for the second part, these portals can enable you to reach out to a human and it’s again, not ideal to do it this way. But the back-end platform where your own team accesses it for details there will have the ability to take these payments as well. Again, I wanted to stress that it’s not ideal, but it’s definitely possible to do that.

Mark Brousseau  50:01

Another one of our attendees writes in our city sometimes gets quotes, and other times supplies are ordered. And a purchase order is created for the amount sometimes when the invoice for those supplies comes into AP because it might add tax and delivery fees. Now does the portal handle these types of issues?

Siddharth Subramani   50:25

Okay, a very fair question. And I think this covers an overarching scenario of both discounts and additional fees that might come in. And the idea is, when we’re integrating with an ERP system to get the information that we need in order to display to your customers, we take into account any additional taxes, freight fees, or discounts that could come into the picture as well. So using logic, we can build in certain tolerances, and at the same time from a cash application perspective, flag for your team’s approval, so that instead of the whole payment going on hold, only the delta amount that was not identified potentially can be flagged for your team’s review.

Mark Brousseau  51:09

Another one of our attendees wants to know is the type of Portal you’re describing only for B2B transactions, or Can it handle consumer-to-business transactions as well?

Siddharth Subramani   51:18

That’s a very fair question as well. largely speaking, it is tailored towards B2B. But we have seen scenarios where it is used in a B2C space as well. I couldn’t speak more to that unless you know, we have a better understanding of what specific scenario you’re talking about. So it might make sense for us to speak separately because it does vary on a case-by-case basis.

Mark Brousseau  51:44

Another verb attendees rights, there are lots of online portals out there. How do you recommend we go about choosing the right one? So what advice would you give for evaluating EIPP solutions?

Siddharth Subramani  51:59/strong>

Absolutely, I think there are a couple of points that go into that. Obviously, some of those that were already discussed today, Mark, and you had brought up very valid points, which was to make it easier on the customer, in terms of giving them the option of selecting different payment methods. So which different types of payment methods are available could be one criterion, billing options, the amount of effort involved potentially in setting it up. And more importantly, since this is something that’s evolving on a day to day basis, you want to be partnering with someone who’s making innovations into and making sure that they’re ahead of the times whether that’s increasing adoption by enabling guest payments, making it easier for your customers to be on board by enabling secured or digital payments to name a few examples.

Mark Brousseau  52:48

Another one of our attendees writes that they want to know what are the advantages of deploying electronic billing and payment together versus just automating payment processing?

Siddharth Subramani   52:59

That’s a fair question. Both have benefits associated with them. If you look at it from a siloed perspective, doing billing electronically reduces the paper costs for you. And from an electronic payments perspective. Doing that, enables you to get the cash faster in your bank since invoices get paid faster, and at the same time reduces the cost of processing payments for you and the team. The advantage of deploying both of them together potentially is eliminating the process of having to understand which payments are coming for which invoices so when your customers come into a self-service portal either to view the invoices or make payments on them. All of that information in one place is in one place, giving them complete visibility into what they’re paying, how they’re making that payment. And then from your perspective, you know which invoices are being closed, and at the same time make sure that these invoices are being delivered, so that customers cannot claim that as a reason for lack of payment or non-payment.

Mark Brousseau  54:01

Another one of our attendees writes, and we have lots of competing projects right now, and not a lot of resources because of COVID-19. What advice would you give us for getting this type of project to the top of the priority list?

Siddharth Subramani   54:17

That’s a very fair question. And it’s something that we’re facing consistently right now, since COVID, has caused, you know, some projects to get delayed, and others to compete amongst each other. At the end of the day, when you’re selecting the project, obviously, you’re looking for all these features that you want, whether your customers are asking for it, or it’s something that you yourself feel will be beneficial to the company. One of the ways of going about it is to do an assessment and internal assessment to understand the savings that could generate, and at the same time, the benefits that it could bring in order to give you faster payments, essentially creating an ROI. And if it is a solid ROI, that’s something that will definitely catch the attention of executives.

Mark Brousseau  55:01

And that brings us to another question from an attendee, they want to know what are some of the key components of a business case for an EIPP solution? What are the drivers for payback?

Siddharth Subramani   55:10

That’s a really good question as well. There are a lot of components that go into it, but I’ll focus on the more important ones. From an adoption perspective, you’re looking at what kind of adoption and campaign that you can run to bring more customers on board. But more importantly, from a payment perspective, shifting from a cheque payable to an ACH or electronic form of payment involves lower costs, since it’s more expensive to process a cheque and it takes longer, as opposed to an ACH payment or credit card for credit cards. Specifically, if you’re already processing them. Another saving lever is looking at the service convenience and surcharge fees that you leverage along with the level of processing that you do for credit cards. Since if you have a large volume of transactions with credit cards, that could involve a significant fee for you which can be reduced either by loving those fees that I talked about earlier or even potentially shifting from an L1 to an L3 of processing, which reduces the cost per transaction. Last but not least from a team’s perspective. I know one of the points that were raised earlier is that a lot of people are having to work with a leaner team. And using technology like this can help your team handle that additional workload using the leaner team.

Mark Brousseau  56:31

Another attendee wants to know whether you can make suggestions to a supplier on how a portal should be set up. Are there best practices Sid that you can bring to the table for a supplier?

Siddharth Subramani   56:43

Absolutely. I think some of the common ones that come on board are potentially integrating with those AP systems as a best practice, so you’re automating a lot of that process, which reduces the workload for the AP team. And beyond that, there are a lot of nuanced pieces that can come in. And it really depends on you knowing what the current landscape is like. And usually, when you do a deep dive assessment into these pieces, it’s much easier to come up with recommendations since the generic ones may not be applicable across the board that we’ll be assessing. Sorry, go ahead.

Mark Brousseau  57:18

No, I was gonna say that’ll be our final word. Thank you so much Sid for an excellent presentation. And thank you all for your great questions, and for making time for our webinar today. And with that, I’m going to hand it back to Kelsey.

Kelsey (Facilitator)  57:32  

Thank you. And I do just have a few housekeeping notes to go over before we officially closeout. If you could please fill out the short evaluation form that will appear once you close out of the webinars so that we can better serve your needs in future webinars. As a reminder, the on-demand materials will be emailed to everyone within three business days. And this will include a PDF of the slides as well as the recording of today’s presentation. And thank you again to Syd and mark for a great presentation today. And thank you to all of our attendees for taking the time out of your busy days to join us. This webinar was brought to you by Iowa FM and sponsored by HighRadius. Thank you all and have a great day

Mark Brousseau

President and Owner
Brousseau & Associates

Digital Billing and Payments Platform are more customer-centric because it creates a Win-Win opportunity for the buyers and suppliers.

Siddharth Subramani

Digital Transformation Consultant
HighRadius

Ultimately suppliers must lead that way to pave that path to make that transition (into e-payment platforms) much more customer-centric.

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HighRadius Integrated Receivables Software Platform is the world's only end-to-end accounts receivable software platform to lower DSO and bad-debt, automate cash posting, speed-up collections, and dispute resolution, and improve team productivity. It leverages RivanaTM Artificial Intelligence for Accounts Receivable to convert receivables faster and more effectively by using machine learning for accurate decision making across both credit and receivable processes and also enables suppliers to digitally connect with buyers via the radiusOneTM network, closing the loop from the supplier accounts receivable process to the buyer accounts payable process. Integrated Receivables have been divided into 6 distinct applications: Credit Software, EIPP Software, Cash Application Software, Deductions Software, Collections Software, and ERP Payment Gateway - covering the entire gamut of credit-to-cash.