One of our 2018 sub-themes for trends in the commercial payments industry is the digital convergence of technology solutions across key elements of corporate cash cycle management. While some level of specialization remains, the clear trend is for combining technology in and around procure-to-pay operations and services into a more seamless experience. We recently covered this in a report for members titled Procure-to-Pay Convergence: Market Review and Vendor Comparison, released September 2018. We see this continuing as 2025 looms and industry transforms to digital mode. What formerly were separate solutions for things like electronic invoices, automated payables and alternative financing, are now being assembled as more of an end-to-end delivery mode, through direct partner integrations, APIs and expanded services.
This press release, appearing in Business Insider, is an example of such indicated convergence. The payments automation fintech Nvoicepay, a 2009 startup based in Beaverton, Oregon, is partnering with Symbeo, a mature fintech that specializes in invoice automation, to deliver a joint solution called ‘Invoice-to-Pay’.
‘The new “Invoice-to-Pay” solution integrates Symbeo’s Managed AP Automation suite with Nvoicepay’s intelligent payment automation platform…This joint automation solution eliminates antiquated manual processes and errors while aiding even the most complex global enterprises with increased visibility into payments and enhanced efficiencies. Invoice-To-Pay is purpose-built to fit multiple organizational hierarchies, approval workflows, locations, and bank accounts.’
Mercator spoke with Nvoicepay CEO Karla Friede, who believes that the market has a massive upside for penetration by latest generation automation providers. Ms. Friede meets with corporates whose typical payments setup is being managed by one or more banks that often deliver a non-integrated experience with separate payment streams. One of the features of Nvoicepay’s automation platform is the ability to use transactional data to optimize payment choices.
Mercator has often cited e-invoice capabilities as a catalyst for an organizational move towards the deeper benefits of digital financial processes, in effect opening a window to the various available cash cycle solutions. This is of particular relevance in the U.S. market that remains sub-optimal through its reliance upon paper. Solutions such as this will accelerate digital payables adoption over the next few years.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commerical and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group