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27 September

Why Financial Institutions Are Banking on Integrated Receivables

Are you behind on your Integrated Receivables Strategy? An integrated receivables hub is needed more than ever to future-proof business and banks are taking notice. But this wasn’t always the case. Three years ago, integrated receivables management was beginning to surface on the radar of banks, but most didn’t take action. According to Celent’s 2014 survey of US large banks, 92% rated integrated receivables (IR) management as most important to their future growth. But according to Treasury Strategies, only 1% fully implemented a solution.

Why? Banks accepted the notion of integrated receivables but hesitated because of lack of control and high costs. To add to this, lockbox technology – a great revenue source – was greatly improving at the time. Optical character recognition technology (OCR) eliminated the need for banks to manually keystroke remittance information. This allowed them to seed more accurate data, reduce paper and process remittance information faster.

But even in light of this advancement, today one foundational problem still exists – payment information is siloed in disconnected systems and in different remittance formats. This makes reconciliation and cash application inefficient both today and in the immediate future.

According to Aite Group research, 60% of corporations are not satisfied with their receivables and payments application process and would rather have this process managed by a financial institution. This presents a large opportunity for integrated receivables, and we’re already seeing financial institutions bank on it. This year, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and some banks throughout the US have invested in integrated receivables hubs to differentiate themselves as market leaders.

So why are banks using it as a differentiator? Here are 6 key reasons why financial institutions are banking on integrated receivables for their clients:

1. Accept Electronic Payments: With the ability to support and aggregate all payment methods, banks can easily offer corporate clients the ability to accept their electronic payment options including ACH, EFT and credit card. This allows clients to future-proof their business and digitize their receivables process.

2. Uncover New Revenue Streams and Increase Customer Loyalty: By offering an integrated receivables hub, banks not only differentiate themselves but uncover new revenue streams and stickier corporate clients. By leveraging a solution from their current bank, corporate clients eliminate the search for other solutions on the market. In turn, banks can increase penetration and wallet-share among existing clients and tap into new business opportunities.

3. Increased visibility and insight into clients: Integrated receivables hubs can host all banking clients’ accounts receivable data. This provides real-time visibility into each client’s business to better understand their needs and customer base. Sequentially, this insight can be leveraged to consult on additional product offerings that can help accelerate their business.

4. Centralize payment and remittance info: Aggregate payments from multiple types (checks, EFT, credit card) and remittance data from multiple sources (email, EDI, web portals, electronic bill payment and presentment, mobile application, lock boxes) in one location. With integrated receivable technology, this data is consolidated and automatically reconciled back into the corporation’s accounting system or ERP. This increases the accuracy and eliminates the pain of cash application – a traditionally time-consuming and error-prone function.

5. Automate Processes: a function of integrated receivables hubs is to support the automation of posting, exceptions workflow and returns processing. Intelligent rules automate linking of payment to remittance, invoice matching, and deduction management. In turn, this eliminates human-error and accelerates processing speed.

6. Get Paid Faster and Reduce Costs: Integrated receivables hubs help accelerate receivables, maximize working capital, and reduce costs. Administrative expenses are cut and time is saved on invoice preparation, mailing and collections expenses. This appeals to corporate clients who need more timely collections and to reduce carrying charges.

With corporate clients unsatisfied with their current receivables process and the rise of financial technology, the race for integrated receivables is on. With banks and FinTech companies working together more every day, the time is now to bank on this pivotal opportunity integrated receivables presents…before your competition does.

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