Written by: Ashton Steffl
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to accounts receivables (A/R) operations; largely because no two businesses are alike. The historical use of numerous, disparate systems and software (i.e. “silos”) that have been supplied by banks and software providers have resulted in an abundance of manual processes and ever-increasing costs. Not surprisingly, businesses are increasingly searching for ways to streamline and automate their receivables operations and processes.
Now is the time for financial institutions (FIs) to look beyond offering solely financial services to their corporate banking customers. FIs must be prepared to make the jump to a trusted technology advisor and business partner as well.
From lockbox services to advanced remote deposit capture (RDC), credit card and ACH processing, electronic bill/invoice presentment and payment (EBPP/EIPP), online and mobile payments, and more; the groundswell for truly integrated receivables solutions continues to grow. By connecting corporate banking customers to the solutions they need (and successfully helping to consolidate disparate systems and processes), FIs can become even ‘stickier’ with their customers by offering truly integrated receivables solutions.
True integrated receivables solutions enable businesses to streamline and automate their A/R processes and cash application by delivering the ability to accept any payment method (check, ACH/EFT, credit/debit card, cash) via any payment channel (mailed-in, called-in, in-person, lockbox, online, mobile), all on a single, secure, cloud-based platform.
Whether offering receivables processing solutions, helping manage internal A/R operations, or working with lockbox and other technology partners, FIs are at a pivotal place in a competitive market to connect and deliver their customers with the solutions they need.
FI’s are especially well positioned to help a wide range of business banking customers of differing sizes, operating across numerous industries. As a result of being highly-configurable in nature, truly integrated receivables solutions have no limitations when it comes to supporting a broad range of customers spanning different industries.
Just as we started this blog post stating that no two businesses are alike, similarly, the same can be said when it comes to FIs. Especially when it comes to the resources required to support technology offerings outside of the FI’s core financial services.
Many times, it ultimately comes down to finding the right partnership model with an integrated receivables provider to help FI’s expand their offerings. Finding the right partnership model to best fit your FI will help you deliver an integrated solution in the best, most efficient (and profitable) manner. When it comes down to it, there are two predominant types of partnership models: Referral or Reseller. While there may be others, or even similar versions of these two that simply fall under different names, these are the two primary partnership models we here at FTNI have seen be successful as FI’s explore their ability to support and bring to market integrated receivables solutions.
In a referral partnership model, your FI has the ability to connect (refer) corporate customers to your chosen integrated receivables provider. Your customers gain the ability to work directly with a leading technology provider to configure solutions to their unique business and A/R needs. What’s more, your FI benefits from the credibility gained by connecting your customer with the technology they need, while also creating an exciting new technology-focused revenue stream.
Within a referral partnership model, your FI gains the benefit of bringing a proven, truly integrated receivables processing platform to your corporate customers—all without having to invest additional resources for the implementation, training, maintenance and ongoing support of new technology and solutions within your existing operations. You connect your corporate customers to value-added solutions to become even ‘stickier’ within your relationships, while also benefiting from a no-risk, pure-margin revenue stream that adds virtually no additional stress (or cost) to your current operations.
In a reseller partnership model, your FI is able to take your chosen integrated receivables provider’s solution to market in a white-labeled fashion. Your trusted technology partner will work closely with your sales, marketing, product/project management, and customer support teams to fully train them on all aspects of marketing, selling, implementing and supporting an industry-leading platform. You own the entire relationship and onboarding lifecycle with your customers, while your chosen integrated receivables partner supports you and your teams “behind the scenes”.
Under a reseller partnership model, you’ll also be in complete control of billing and revenue generation as you bring your integrated receivables offerings to market. Your FI should benefit from preferred pricing that enables you to create competitive pricing models in order to maximize adoption and revenue generation of these valuable solutions across your entire corporate banking customer base.
Finding the right partnership model to support how your FI brings integrated receivables solutions to your corporate customers is critical. A combination of your own internal resources and capabilities, along with those of your customers must be considered when choosing how “hands-on” you will be on the actual delivery and support of these powerful solutions.
According to recent research from the Aite Group, 73% of corporate treasury professionals cite a bank’s ability to provide an integrated receivables offering as ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’, when selecting a banking partner. However, according to the same research, while 70% of banks rank integrated receivables as ‘high priority’, only 31% of banks are in the planning stage to implement an integrated receivables solution.
Don’t fall behind the curve in delivering your corporate customers the solutions they need to help modernize and accelerate their A/R operations. Truly integrated receivables solutions help both corporate customers and FI’s by eliminating siloed receivables systems through proven solutions that help drive efficiencies and cost savings within a critical piece of the business.
Proven, flexible, partnership models offered by the leading integrated receivables providers within the marketplace can help your FI choose the path that fits not only your operations, but the ever-changing needs of your corporate banking customer base as well.
Now’s the time for your FI to make the jump from being just a financial services partner, but a trusted technology advisor/provider as well.
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