When a company has spent years (and in some cases, decades) making its own supplier payments via paper check through an in-house AP department, handing over the reins to an outside partner can be intimidating, even in light of the numerous benefits.
You’re not alone. It’s pretty common for our partners to express reservations over some aspect of our supplier payment optimization methods before we get started. Once we start working together, it’s easy for us to prove how unfounded those hesitations were. However, if reservations are keeping you from even taking the first step toward optimizing your payments process, let me put your mind at ease.
It’s okay to trust EML to contact your suppliers.
Sometimes, people are worried about having an outside company like EML approach their suppliers on their behalf. That’s okay – we know your reputation and relationships are at stake. That’s why we never use a cookie-cutter boilerplate script when we’re talking to your suppliers. When we work with you to develop an enrollment campaign, we talk about everything from how you want us to address your suppliers to how assertive you’d like us to be about converting them to electronic payments. You can even have us address different segments of suppliers in different ways, depending on your relationship. Every email, letter and follow-up phone call to your suppliers are going to match the tone. We speak to suppliers the way you would, and the entire enrollment campaign is flexible and tailored to what you want.
It’s okay to exchange your payment file with us.
When you send EML your payment file, you’re sending it secure through a secure FTP server. Just like when you send a NACHA file to the bank to have it print checks for you, the data is encrypted in a secure tunnel from point A to point B. We’ve built our platform from the ground up, and pride ourselves on SSAE-18 certification.
It’s okay to let EML make payments on your behalf
Did you know that virtual cards are actually more secure than checks? Every check you send releases your bank account number into the wild, for the world to (potentially) see. A virtual card is comprised of a 16-digit number … but those 16 digits are never sent out together. It’s against PCI compliance and it’s just bad practice. Plus, as soon as a payment is processed, the unique card number is never used again.
It’s okay to put reconciliation in our hands.
Let’s say you pay an invoice today using a credit card. You call a supplier and give them the card number over the phone. They plug that number into their terminal, and the payment goes through, but then what? There’s no good way for both parties to reconcile what’s been paid. Not true with virtual cards. When a virtual card payment goes out, its unique number can be used to pay multiple items or invoices, just like a check could. Our payment converter is based on the payment instructions that come out of your accounting system, and the remittance information it records allows the supplier to reconcile the payment. Then, we return a completion file to you once the payment has been completed. It’s an easy way for both you and your suppliers to know exactly what was paid and when.
It’s okay if your IT team is already overworked.
Sounds great, right? But … how are you going to make it happen, tech-wise? If you’re like most companies, every other department is competing for your IT department’s time. But when you work with EML, we take on that heavy lifting. No hardware or software changes are required. We’ll build our payment converter based on what comes out of your accounting system, no matter which one you use. We’ve even created an easy-to-follow file specification workbook for your finance and accounting team to follow in order to export your files. As mentioned before, it’s as simple as sending a file to the bank to print checks. Beyond the initial enrollment period, there’s next to zero maintenance needed from your AP department or your IT team.
Here’s the bottom line: it’s okay to have reservations about handing over your payment data to EML. It means you’re concerned about the health and security of your organization, the technology you choose to adapt and the companies you choose to partner with. But it’s even more okay to throw those reservations out the window and give in to the excitement of the benefits of payment optimization.