Asia Pacific: How fintech improves B2B payments and working capital management

shawn invapayIn this guest post Shawn Damon, APAC Commercial Director at Invapay, explores how advances in fintech are impacting B2B payments and working capital management.

The B2B payments industry is undergoing a huge transformation as fintech receives more and more investment. It’s the reason I recently joined Invapay as the Commercial Director for Asia Pacific. The world of B2B payments is going to develop rapidly and companies have an opportunity to reap large benefits. It’s a fascinating place to be working right now.

I’ve spent all of my career working in organisations which improve the processing of information. This involves capturing data at the point it enters a company and ensuring it gets to where it needs to be – efficiently and free from errors. This can involve a near forensic examination of the way companies work…or don’t work as is often the case. Invoicing is a classic example.

Manual processing makes for errors and inefficiency

The process for managing payments includes some or all of the following, depending on the sophistication of the company. It starts with reviewing the invoice and data entry into a system. PO matching, duplicate check, approval, posting information to ERP, manage exceptions, set up new vendors, manage supplier queries. The list goes on. However, there can be a gap between the functional nature of processing invoices and the financial implications of how these invoices are paid.

Intelligent use of technology makes things simple

The convergence of different forms of technology mean the information can be used intelligently and with more and more benefits. It’s not just about processing anymore. I met Sid Vasili, the founder of Invapay, whilst we were working on a joint venture with VISA. I could see the enormous benefits of technology when the implementation is well thought though.

Invapay manages all of the payment processing but does much more. Historically, Procurement and Finance departments have been forced to manage their operations according to established working practices. What Invapay has done is look at the supply chain end to end and developed something which helps all parties involved.

Invapay’s technology enables large organisations to optimise their cash flow and payments. Cash and credit management capability can be increased with access to off balance sheet credit on demand. This is achieved by maximising the use of B2B card payments – increasingly known as 16-digit accounts. And, the processing overheads described earlier have been cleaned up and everything runs like clockwork.

Asia Pacific is already seeing the benefit

My main focus will be to oversee the development in the APAC region. We’ve partnered with VISA and I’ll be working with companies to develop their management of working capital, supplier management and payment processing.  In addition, we can implement a process which accelerates payments to suppliers whilst boosting working capital of the buyer. For those using commercial cards, we can guarantee payment to suppliers who can’t traditionally accept this payment mechanism.

Over the next few months I’ll be writing several articles on different aspects of B2B Payments. You can learn more by following us on twitter @invapay.

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