Tag Archives: fintech


5 Ways FinTechs are Better Than Banks for Payment Automation

Why choose a FinTech over a bank? After years of false starts, businesses are migrating away from paper check payments to suppliers. Businesses now make less than half of their supplier payments via checks, per the Institute of Finance and Management’s (IOFM) 2018 Future of Accounts Payable Survey. What’s more, three years from now, businesses … Read More

Best Practices in Test Data Provisioning for Automated Testing

In part one of this series, we covered the importance of automated testing in the FinTech space. In this segment, we highlight best practices in test data provisioning, an essential component of successful automated testing. To meet the demands of business growth and customer satisfaction, technology teams are adopting Agile and DevOps methods to keep … Read More

Accelerating the Pace of Software Development Through Automated Testing

FinTech Innovators Need to Modernize Their Software Development Rapid changes in the payments industry are requiring FinTech innovators to modernize software development processes in order to deliver more efficient and secure means of payments for buyers and suppliers. This places severe demands on software organizations to expand both the volume and quality of product delivered. … Read More

An AP Pro’s Guide to Convincing Suppliers to Adopt Electronic Payments

Businesses cite lots of reasons for continuing to pay suppliers with paper checks … … Inadequate resources to manage the transition … Lack of senior management support or mandate … Competing priorities … Fear of change But one of the biggest things keeping businesses from migrating to electronic payments is the misperception that their suppliers … Read More

Shifting Your Organization to a Growth Mindset

You may have heard the term “growth mindset” used in the workplace in recent years. While the concept itself is not a new idea, there has been a resurgence of the phrase as it applies to modern organizational cultures. The payments industry is evolving rapidly today, with a growing set of electronic payment options that … Read More

Paymerang Named #1 Best Tech Startup in Richmond

Paymerang Named #1 Best Tech Startup in Richmond We are proud to be named #1 Best Tech Startup in RVA by The Tech Tribune! We are grateful for each and every one of our amazing team members and clients who makes our awesome company what we are today, and we look forward to our continued … Read More

5 Ways FinTechs are Better Than Banks for Payment Automation

Why choose a FinTech over a bank?

After years of false starts, businesses are migrating away from paper check payments to suppliers.

Businesses now make less than half of their supplier payments via checks, per the Institute of Finance and Management’s (IOFM) 2018 Future of Accounts Payable Survey. What’s more, three years from now, businesses surveyed by IOFM expect to make more payments to suppliers via Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment than paper check (38 percent versus 18 percent), and businesses expect to double the percentage of payments to suppliers made via virtual card.

Why are businesses so optimistic that they will finally leave costly, inefficient and risky checks in the dust? Seventy percent of them have a strategy in place to move to electronic payments, IOFM finds.

A key element of an electronic payment strategy is how to enable and support suppliers and execute payments. It’s tempting to use a bank to provide those services. After all, banks are trusted partners to businesses, and have financial expertise. But, in most cases, financial technology (FinTech) solutions providers are a better option for businesses as a provider of electronic payments solutions.

Here are five ways that FinTech payment solutions beat bank payment offerings:

1. Multiple payment methods

Banks make the most money on supplier payments made via virtual card. It’s for that reason that many banks only support virtual card payments to suppliers. This forces buyers to partner with multiple banks and/or third parties to pay suppliers in their preferred method or to take a one-size-fits-all approach to electronic payments. In some cases, a buyer’s credit facility bars it from using a competing bank’s payment solution.

FinTech solutions support checks, e-checks, ACH and cards. This eliminates the complexity of partnering with multiple payment providers, the negative impact of a take-it-or-leave approach to supplier payments, and potential interference with their credit facility.

2. A single payment upload file

Some banks support different payment methods to suppliers, but it comes at a cost. Each payment type is supported by a different part of the bank, each with its own systems and processes. This means that buyers must generate a file for each method of payment, log into multiple bank portals to execute the payments and reconcile multiple payment files. If something goes wrong with a payment, information is not in a single location.

FinTech solutions eliminate this hassle by allowing buyers to upload a single payment file for all their supplier payments. FinTech solutions then parse the file based on payment method. Batches then are approved, and items are marked as paid. Easy!

3. Proven supplier enablement and management

Strong supplier adoption is critical to the success of an electronic payments program. But most banks take a half-hearted approach to enabling and supporting a buyer’s suppliers. Most banks only target a buyer’s largest suppliers or those suppliers that accept virtual cards. The onboarding campaigns used by many banks does a poor job of collecting and maintaining supplier information, only last a few months, and they don’t address ongoing changes (“churn”) in a buyer’s supplier base. Some banks require payment files to be formatted in a particular way. And banks typically put the burden of program administration and support on the shoulders of the buyer.

FinTech solutions providers offer proven ongoing services for enabling and supporting suppliers, ensuring optimum supplier adoption and electronic payments program retention.

4. Bank agnostic

Using a bank’s payment solution typically requires a buyer to commit to the bank for other services. Bank commitments can significantly add to the cost of using a bank’s payments service.

FinTech solutions are bank agnostic. They do not require buyers to change their banking relationships. Payments can be funded from any bank account. And buyers can choose how they facilitate supply chain financing and early payment programs.

5. Innovation

Banks are in the financial services business, not the automation industry. Few banks own the payment solutions that they market to businesses. Some banks outsource their payments business to other banks or to third parties. This means that most banks have limited control over how quickly the solutions they provide can adapt to meet changing business needs or emerging payments technologies and strategies. And bank solutions cannot easily be customized (if at all) to address a buyer’s needs. The multiple, antiquated solutions that some banks use across different payment methods complicates matters.

Conversely, innovation is a FinTech’s core mission. By partnering with a FinTech, businesses can be assured they are using the most advanced technology for paying suppliers. FinTech solutions also are easier to use and manage than those offered by most banks.

Partnering with a bank for supplier payments seems like a no-brainer. But the solutions provided by FinTechs beat bank offerings in five important ways: support for multiple payment methods, a single payment upload file, proven supplier enablement and support, no bank commitments, and innovation.

If your business is evaluating payment solutions providers, Paymerang wants to speak with you.

Contact Colleen Crist at [email protected] to arrange a no-obligation consultation with one of our payment experts.

Best Practices in Test Data Provisioning for Automated Testing

In part one of this series, we covered the importance of automated testing in the FinTech space.

In this segment, we highlight best practices in test data provisioning, an essential component of successful automated testing.

To meet the demands of business growth and customer satisfaction, technology teams are adopting Agile and DevOps methods to keep up with the relentless pace of software development and enhancements required to support growth.

In order to transform to a true DevOps model and reap the benefits of this approach, development and QA/testing teams are shifting testing to the left, automating more tests and automating the provision of test environments. These are all designed to make them more productive and reduce the time it takes to develop, test and deploy.

While development and testing methods are getting a makeover, access to test environments and data continues to be a huge hurdle for QA & Testing teams.

The 2018-2019 Capgemini World Quality report states that nearly 50% of all respondents cite lack of access to test environments and test data as their biggest challenge in applying testing in agile development.

Lean/Agile and DevOps organizations face a difficult challenge to provision the right, high-quality data necessary to produce quality results; use an actual copy of production data and put the organization at risk or accept incomplete or inaccurate data. Neither of these options are good ones.

It is time for a new model for test data acquisition. This new model must result in the right data at the right time.

In the new model consumers of the data will identify the data needed to satisfy specific test cases when the test cases are built. The data will be tagged to the test case for later use. If the data is sensitive, it will be de-identified prior to viewing by the consumer. At the time of testing it will be loaded to ephemeral environments or traditional test environments.

To make this new model robust, development teams need to work with the latest solutions and methodologies to extract large volumes of data from production environment and sanitize the data to remove any personally identifiable information. This requires a significant up-front investment. If you can invest in off-the-shelf solutions to robustly protect your production data while sub-setting parts of it for testing easily, you can create realistic datasets with all the nuances of real data without the risks. By using a robust Test Data Management provisioning tool, one can enter data requirements through data selection, obfuscation of sensitive data like names, accounts, PCI using consistent, easily available, algorithms and then land the data in your testing environments ready to use.

An early investment in test data provisioning will result in robust test data and successful automated testing, allowing your FinTech organization to rapidly scale in today’s demanding world.

Accelerating the Pace of Software Development Through Automated Testing

FinTech Innovators Need to Modernize Their Software Development

Rapid changes in the payments industry are requiring FinTech innovators to modernize software development processes in order to deliver more efficient and secure means of payments for buyers and suppliers. This places severe demands on software organizations to expand both the volume and quality of product delivered. For Paymerang, automated testing has been a critical enabler in this transformation.

When Paymerang was founded in 2010, we were offering a single product along the Procure-to-Pay value chain–payment automation–and relying non-traditional “scrum-fall-ban” development methodologies.

Since then, we have shifted to Lean/Agile Methodologies and DevOps (DevSecOps) in order to significantly expand our velocity.

Shifting methods enables greater features and funcionality within core products.

Since making the shift within our core products we are able to offer greater features such as: better security around payments and authentication, new payment methods, such as straight-through-processing, and new products, such as invoice automation and receivables automation.

Given the mission critical nature of each enhancement, Paymerang also made a shift to automated testing.

Automated Functional Tests look at the Paymerang system as a “Black Box”. Functional tests check that the system functions as required by the business. Functional Tests do not target how functionality is delivered – thus the “black box”. Paymerang’s Functional Tests utilize browser-drivers such as Selenium to mimic a user in our app performance any number of tasks.

Automated Functional Testing allows Paymerang to quickly release both product improvements and new products with confidence that our security, user experience and system functionality will continue to deliver without disruption to the product nor other delivery staff. Automated Functional Testing also enables other automation, such as Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. Failed tests quickly identify where and when an issue is introduced.

We utilize gated check-ins so as to keep our environments working while also giving detailed feedback to our application delivery staff.

Three best practices to consider as one moves to CI / CD

  1. Automated Functional Testing
  2. Gated Check-ins to major repository branches
  3. Test Data Provisioning

The dynamic nature of Paymerang’s business requires constant innovation in both the ways that business payments are made and the means of securing these payments. Automated testing is becoming an essential practice in the FinTech space as organizations increase their velocity and quality control.

In part two of this blog, we will cover best practices in test data provisioning for automated testing.

An AP Pro’s Guide to Convincing Suppliers to Adopt Electronic Payments

Businesses cite lots of reasons for continuing to pay suppliers with paper checks …

… Inadequate resources to manage the transition

… Lack of senior management support or mandate

… Competing priorities

… Fear of change

But one of the biggest things keeping businesses from migrating to electronic payments is the misperception that their suppliers won’t accept them.  The reality is that most suppliers want to receive more payments electronically.  Electronic payments provide suppliers three big benefits

1. Lower cost of doing business: Electronic payments result in less paperwork and fewer posting errors for suppliers.  Electronic payments also are deposited directly into a supplier’s bank account, eliminating the need to process checks, make trips to a bank to deposit checks, or pay for a pricey bank lockbox service.  And the visibility and predictability of electronic payments reduces the time that suppliers spend chasing outstanding payments.  The cost savings from electronic payments often dwarf the merchant service fee paid by suppliers.  

2. Improved cash flow: Electronic payments reduce a supplier’s receivable cycle.  For starters, electronic payments arrive faster than paper checks and there is no chance that a virtual card or ACH transaction will become lost.  Suppliers can track the status of an electronic payment, and they can always count on it arriving on time.  Many buyers will even pay a supplier early in return for a discount on the invoice-due amount.  And some buyers will tier their payment terms to incentivize suppliers to accept electronic payments; the payment methods that are most desirable to the buyer will offer the shortest payment terms.  Additionally, virtual card and ACH transactions are directly deposited into the supplier’s bank account, eliminating the possibility of lost float if busy staff cannot make a trip to the bank to deposit payments.  And the rich remittance detail that accompanies electronic payments streamlines the matching of payments and open invoices as well as cash application.  Electronic payments also are reconciled in real-time, improving the accuracy of cash flow reporting and forecasting.  

3. Higher sales: Accepting virtual card payments can raise a supplier’s standing with its customers, opening the door to more opportunities to capture more orders. 

Each of these benefits is tantalizing to suppliers. 

How to convince suppliers to accept electronic payments

As compelling as these benefits are, businesses still need to convince suppliers to accept electronic payments.  Here is a step-by-step guide to ensuring strong supplier adoption of electronic payments:

Step 1: Analyze your spend file

The first step towards strong supplier adoption of electronic payments is to analyze your spend file to identify suppliers and purchases that are good candidates for electronic payments.  Consider key criteria such as payment value, the number of payments per supplier, the percentage of corporate spending represented by the supplier, the contractual relationship your business has with the supplier, the strategic importance of the supplier, and the supplier’s receptivity to electronic payments (e.g., have they asked to be paid electronically?).  An electronic payment solutions provider can review your spend file to identify suppliers that already accept virtual card payments from other businesses.

Step 2: Segment your suppliers

The insights provided by a spend analysis will enable you to segment your suppliers and develop a proposed approach to electronic payments for each one.  Work with stakeholders such as treasury and procurement to create a plan for strategic and non-strategic suppliers as well as suppliers of large-ticket items, contracted suppliers, suppliers of commodities, and one-time suppliers.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that only strategic suppliers are candidates for electronic payments; many businesses make most of their payments to suppliers who don’t represent most of their spend.

Step 3: Engage your suppliers

Engaging suppliers starts with ensuring that you have current contact information for each one.  Be sure to make any updates to your vendor master database.  Once you have the contact information in-hand, you can begin engaging suppliers based on the plan you developed for their segment.  The engagement plan for each segment might include telephone calls, e-mails or mailed letters and should detail when each supplier segment will be engaged.  Be sure each printed or e-mailed communication to suppliers reflects your corporate branding, includes the telephone number and e-mail address of a person the supplier can contact for more information, is customized with a message for the supplier’s segment and clearly articulates the benefits that suppliers will achieve by accepting electronic payments.  Telephone calls to suppliers should be carefully scripted with suggestions for tackling objections.  It is also a good idea to provide stakeholders with a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).  While suppliers should be given opportunities to immediately opt into your electronic payments program, don’t be surprised if it takes multiple attempts to get a response from suppliers. 

Step 4: Support your supplier

No one likes to feel abandoned.  That’s why it’s critical to develop a plan for supporting suppliers after they enroll in your electronic payment program.  Your plan should address the administrative process for onboarding suppliers, initial and ongoing support, and any bank-related issues.

Step 5: Don’t stop onboarding

It’s tempting to shut down your onboarding efforts once you’ve reached your goals.  But a better approach is to analyze your spend file on an ongoing basis to identify opportunities to onboard suppliers.  Over time, your supplier base will change, supplier contracts will come up for renewal, decision-makers who were resistant to electronic payments will leave, negative perceptions of electronic payments will soften, and your business will gain more leverage with some suppliers.  All these scenarios are a chance for you to engage with suppliers to drive additional adoption.

Following these five steps will ensure that you achieve optimum supplier adoption of your electronic payment program.  Do these steps daunting?  Don’t worry, electronic payment solutions providers can help you at each step of the way in driving supplier adoption, relieving you of the burden.

Ready to migrate your suppliers to electronic payments?  Schedule a demo.

Shifting Your Organization to a Growth Mindset

You may have heard the term “growth mindset” used in the workplace in recent years. While the concept itself is not a new idea, there has been a resurgence of the phrase as it applies to modern organizational cultures.

The payments industry is evolving rapidly today, with a growing set of electronic payment options that bring new opportunities for efficiency along with added fraud risks.

This requires industry participants, like Paymerang, to constantly innovate to deliver value for buyers and suppliers while protecting client funds. A skilled and motivated workforce by itself is not enough since the landscape is shifting so fast. Companies need workforces with a capacity for growth and adaptation to thrive in the FinTech space.

Carol Dweck, a renowned Stanford University psychologist, coined the terms fixed and growth mindset after extensive research in students’ attitudes around failure. She found some students rebounded while others were devasted by the smallest setbacks. Dweck describes the simple, yet impactful differences between the two mindsets:

Growth Mindset: People with a growth mindset believe abilities—like talent and intelligence—can be developed through dedication and hard work. They’re more likely to enjoy learning, seek out situations to experiment, and see failure as an opportunity to grow.

Fixed Mindset: Those with a fixed mindset believe the opposite. They feel they “are who they are” and were born with a set level of talent, intelligence, and even interests. Because of this, they’re more likely to seek out opportunities and situations where these views are affirmed (like doing the same job over and over to receive praise) and believe that talent alone—not effort—is the source of success.

While the bulk of this research was conducted on students, these concepts can be seamlessly applied to organizations. Technological advances have made us more efficient, while also increasing complexity of challenges faced by employees. The pace at which we work is faster than ever before and frequent change (and sometimes a little chaos) is to be expected. Adopting and developing a growth mindset in the modern workplace helps increase resiliency in environments that demand quick adaption to change, frequent refinement of strategies, and decisive action within short time constraints.

Implementing a growth mindset into your company culture yields many benefits for individuals and teams. Once people stop worrying about failing, they are more open to creative thinking and problem solving, which leads to the discovery of new and innovative solutions. By trying on new roles and responsibilities, people learn new skills that strengthen their contributions and help them continue their career path.

Fully embracing the growth mindset and applying it time and time again takes deliberate, repetitive practice. How can organizational leaders help cultivate a growth mindset within their cultures?

Here are three tips you can start applying:

  1. Screen for a growth mindset. During the recruitment process, look for traits of a growth mindset in candidates. While interviewing, incorporate questions that dig in to core beliefs, past learnings and setbacks, and the ability to see out challenging tasks or projects. Asks questions such as, “what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in recent years?” or “give me an example of a time you set an ambitious goal, did you meet it? What went well and what didn’t go well?”. This will give you a sense to what mindset a candidate may be bringing to the team.
  2. Set learning goals. Take the time to understand your employees’ goals. Regularly nudge and encourage new responsibilities (like taking the lead on a project) instead of playing it safe. Be sure to celebrate the learning process and highlight that setbacks are part of the growing process. This will build the resiliency muscles needed to dust one’s self off and to keep pushing forward.
  3. Foster a learning culture, starting with the company leadership. Leaders set the tone and people take note, making it even more important to “walk the talk”. Openly talk about your own successes and setbacks – what you’ve learned, what you’ll do differently next time. Leverage team meetings, town halls and other means of communication to highlight these learnings and encourage discussion and curiosity. Fostering this dialogue shows that it’s safe and encouraged to take risks.

FinTech companies today need to rapidly evolve to meet the needs of the marketplace. If you want to build a high-growth organization that is strong and resilient, start by supporting a growth mindset within your team members today.

Dweck, Carol. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Random House, 2006. Print

Paymerang Named #1 Best Tech Startup in Richmond

Paymerang Named #1 Best Tech Startup in Richmond

We are proud to be named #1 Best Tech Startup in RVA by The Tech Tribune!

We are grateful for each and every one of our amazing team members and clients who makes our awesome company what we are today, and we look forward to our continued growth and success! Want to join our team? Check out all of our current openings here.

The Tech Tribune delivers the latest technology news, in-depth technology articles, and insights on the hottest technology startups all over the world. Their staff compiled the very best tech startups in Richmond, Virginia. In doing their research, they considered several factors including but not limited to:

  1. Revenue potential
  2. Leadership team
  3. Brand/product traction
  4. Competitive landscape

To see the full article and complete Top 10 list click here.