‘Our technology changes the game by vastly improving the order-to-cash experience for finance teams and their customers’

Interview | Technology

Business Leader recently spoke to YayPay CEO Anthony Venus about his firm’s innovative accounts receivable (AR) software, how they can help businesses through COVID, and what key trends could happen in the market.

Please tell us a bit more about YayPay and its role within the AR industry?

YayPay is a leader in Accounts Receivables (AR) automation software and payments. Our core purpose is to revolutionize the future of work for finance teams by reducing outstanding AR and bad debt, saving money on payment fees, and streamlining operations.

Our technology changes the game by vastly improving the order-to-cash experience for finance teams and their customers. This means that we are at the forefront of back office automation and machine learning and are committed to developing the most effective, intelligent, and user-friendly AR software for our users.

I co-founded YayPay alongside Eugene Vyborov, who is our Chief Technology Officer. We have grown quickly and are now an international team spread across Europe and North America. We are also recognized as a leading player in AR Automation by the International Data Corporation (IDC). This year we became part of Quadient, which helps hundreds of thousands of businesses globally to optimize customer relationships through its equipment and software.

What are some of the benefits of YayPay for fast-growing SMEs? 

High-growth SMEs want to collect cash quickly, whilst preserving crucial client relationships. Many SMEs also have smaller AR teams and so need to do more with less.

We use data, analytics, and customer communications to streamline the AR collections process. Ultimately this reduces manual work and turns outstanding AR into cash.

Our end-to-end AR automation solution is powered by AI and data driven insights. Through predictive analytics we can help business to identify ‘at risk’ customers which enables AR teams to start communication and address any issues earlier. Our centralized portal lets businesses save a lot of time by automating communications and organizing all collections and customer communications in one place. YayPay’s digital payment portal also provides ease of payment. Buyers can be set up on payment plans which helps companies to reduce bad debt. We also integrate with credit rating agencies, major Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs) and Salesforce to enable a seamless data exchange between important financial systems.

When it comes to AR, customer service is often overlooked, and smaller companies do not always have the resources of larger counterparts. But poor communication can be to the detriment of client relationships. With more efficient communication, businesses can maintain strong relationships with their customers, whilst making sure that they get paid on time.

These services mean that AR teams can take on extra volume and handle more customer issues without increasing headcount. This can be crucial for a fast-growing SME.

What should fast growing SMEs be thinking about and prioritizing when it comes to AR? 

It is all about regular and targeted communication and collaboration with customers. If your business has volume or is scaling, SMEs must have the right technology in place to handle the increase. Otherwise, you would need a small army to execute the tasks! Now more than ever, cash is king, and SMEs need to prioritise efficiency when collecting money owed. But this should never be at the expense of customer relationships.

How would you describe the AR industry historically e.g., what have been some of the pain points? 

Historically AR has been slow to innovate, involving many manual processes and routine tasks. One reason is that accounts receivables is not just a financial process. It is also about managing customer relationships. Building software that tackles both of these major pain points whilst maximizing automation was a complex undertaking which required a modern, AI-driven, and cloud based approach.

Another pain point is managing credit risk – deciding on what terms you will do business with a potential customer, or in other words, how much trust in dollar terms you will extend by way of an invoice.

For businesses sending out communications at scale, it can be challenging to preserve and manage these important customer relationships, especially as the process often involves multiple different departments. Scale can also cause issues for cash application, which means ensuring that the money paid into the bank can be reconciled with the correct outstanding invoice. This can be further complicated by disputes and deductions.

The digitalisation of payments has been accelerated by COVID and is only set to continue with many merchants accepting more and more forms of digital payments. This is helping to increase the efficiency of the payments process so that businesses can get paid quicker.

Beyond the process of collecting monies owed, there has also been a lack of transparency. Without analytics and predictions, business leaders and C-Suite have not been able to see what is happening with cash flow, lacking visibility on when to expect cash payments or knowing what is at risk.

What are some of the challenges facing AR teams today (particularly with COVID) and how can YayPay help? 

Traditionally many AR teams have worked together from the same office location. But the outbreak of COVID and subsequent need for social distancing meant that AR teams were suddenly split up and working apart from remote locations. At the same time, many businesses were unfortunately facing financial difficulties and cash became critical. This brought a new urgency to the importance of AR. Dispersed AR teams were able to use our service to quickly adapt and ensure that invoices were paid quickly, whilst being sensitive to financial challenges potentially facing customers.

What key trends do you see emerging across the AR industry over the next few years?

While AR has been slow to modernize, AI, automation and digitization has had a major impact in recent years that is set to continue.  AR is no longer the preserve of AR teams and has become a key topic for business leaders and C-suite. COVID means that cash is more important than ever, and management needs to know that invoices are getting paid on time, and if not, why not. We’re seeing greater recognition of the vital role that the AR team plays.

Another key trend is workforce agility. COVID forced businesses to be become nimble and efficient but proved that AR teams could function and thrive remotely. This will only continue, but its success is dependent on technology and automation tools that keep these processes running and streamlined.

Lastly, we expect to see an acceleration of digital payments. Over the past few years in the US B2B market, we’ve seen a leveling off of cheque payments to just below 50% of transaction values. But while the rate of digitalisation was continuing, it had clearly slowed. Now, in the US and across Europe, we expect to see B2B digital payments become the norm even in the most traditional of industries. After all, how do you process a cheque manually or take payment over the phone when fewer people are at their desks during the pandemic, and many businesses plan to implement remote or ‘hybrid’ remote working practices permanently. These trends are here to stay.

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