This release is posted on the U.S. Bank website and announces a new product that they are calling AP Optimizer. This is a payables automation solution that includes invoice matching, multiple payment types (ACH, cards, wires, checks) and workflow monitoring to increase the ability for straight-through processing. As most readers will know at this point, there has been a pandemic-inspired pivot to cash cycle systems and process automation among corporates of all sizes in the U.S., which had previously been transforming to digital at tepid pace.
‘“AP Optimizer is a big win for our customers and is part of our strategy to provide an integrated offering to manage Accounts Payables,” said Jeff Jones, head of Corporate Payment and Treasury Solutions for U.S. Bank. “Our customers will have the ability to transform workflows and payments to a digital solution with improved visibility, embedded security and fraud mitigation tools.”
We have not received a briefing on the underlying infrastructure, but the release indicates that those clients adopting AP Optimizer will have access to Bottomline Technologies’ Paymode-X network of 425,000 suppliers. This could mean some existing system is connecting to the network, or that U.S. Bank is utilizing the Paymode-X solution. It could also be a hybrid solution. In any event, bringing packaged digital solutions to the market is what businesses in the U.S. are seeking, so we would expect some adoption success. Automating financial processes was a highly relevant topic at the various remote industry events that we have been attending.
“The combination of connecting our organization with a large B2B electronic payment network, and the ability to have an integrated payables solution offering both virtual pay and ACH leveraging our existing ERP system, made AP Optimizer the obvious solution for us,” said Mitchell Watson, vice president and CFO of Carson Tahoe Health, which participated in a pilot of AP Optimizer and will soon be fully implemented. “Not only will we see the benefit of eliminating our paper processes, but U.S. Bank will handle the heavy lifting for us with vendor outreach and enrollment. And, we gained peace of mind from built-in fraud protection delivered by a trusted bank partner.”
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group