Capital Lock Customer Story

How Straight Through Processing Automates Delivery and Receipt of Payments for a Busy Small Business  

Bryce Clark, co-owner and vice president of Capital Lock, shares how he transformed his accounts receivable process to save time, money and headaches.

Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, Capital Lock is one of the largest locksmiths in southern Wisconsin. It has been providing professional locksmith services and security products to surrounding residential and commercial/institutional markets for nearly half a century.

The challenge: Manually processing thousands of invoices

Capital Lock regularly services hundreds of customers, including property management companies that oversee large portfolios of rental properties for students. The properties have different owners, so each one must be separately invoiced, resulting in thousands of invoices each year.

Most of the invoices sent by Capital Lock are paid by paper checks delivered through the U.S. mail, a notoriously unreliable and slow-moving system. In addition to enduring long wait times for payments, Clark estimates that he spent two to three hours per week and up to 10 hours during his busy season manually processing check payments.

“When apartments turn over at the beginning and end of each school year, we may process more than one hundred checks in a single day, manually entering, reconciling and depositing them for payment,” said Clark.

The company’s credit card transactions were equally cumbersome and time consuming, not to mention costly due to high transaction fees. Because their accounting software didn’t integrate with their credit card processor, each transaction needed to be handled manually, requiring Clark or someone else at Capital Lock to collect 16-digit credit card numbers over the phone or via email and enter them into their system.

“We needed a way to save time, money and headaches,” said Clark. “I started looking for opportunities to streamline and automate our antiquated accounts receivable (AR) processes.”

Customer Profile

Customer: Bryce Clark of Capital Lock, Inc.
Member of AvidPay Network: Since 2013
Payment Method: Mastercard
Payment Processing Method: Straight Through Processing

Clark, a former certified public accountant, became a co-owner and vice president of Capital Lock in 2020. As a small business owner, he wears many hats, handling the company’s accounting, IT, customer relations, human resources and locksmithing, too. Manually processing the high number of payment transactions involved in his business required far too much of his time, compelling him to search for a better way. He found it by replacing manual, paper-based payment processes with automation.

The solution: Convenient, reliable way to process payments

Capital Lock, Inc. joined the AvidPay Network in 2013. Then, in January 2022, Clark found the solution he needed to modernize Capital Lock’s AR. He implemented virtual card Straight Through Processing with AvidXchange, a payment delivery feature available to the more than 825,000 suppliers in the AvidPay Network. It is one of the largest payments networks offering multiple payment options, including e-payments.

Straight Through Processing eliminates the need for Capital Lock to manually process payments from AvidXchange and automates their delivery and receipt.  With Straight Through Processing, payments are sent from approval to Capital Lock on electronic systems using automation, so there’s no more waiting on unreliable snail mail, depositing paper checks and keying in credit card numbers for every transaction.

“I was drawn to the potential time-saving benefits of not having to enter so many individual transactions,” said Clark. “Saving the hours I once spent on processing payments and being able to have batches of payments simplified into a single entry was well worth trying out Straight Through Processing.”

His AvidXchange team made the move to Straight Through Processing seamless.

“AvidXchange provides incredible customer service and resolves any issues, no matter how minor, right away,” he said. “They are compassionate and respectful of my time and my business needs and they serve me the way my business strives to serve our own customers, which we believe is important now more than ever.”

The results: Faster payments in less time

Capital Lock has experienced multiple benefits since transforming its AR with Straight Through Processing, including faster payments and both time and cost savings.

“I save at least an hour each week not having to enter dozens of check transactions and I receive my payments much faster than checks through the mail,” said Clark. “I look forward to experiencing the additional time-saving benefits when apartment turnover season arrives.”

Clark knows he can rely on his AvidXchange team to help his business evolve.

“I would often refuse to accept credit card payments because of their high fees and I’d tolerate the slower time to receive check payments because I did not have an alternative,” said Clark. “Now, if my customers wish to pay by credit card, I’m willing to allow them to do so as long as they’re using AvidXchange, because I know first-hand that I’m going to save time and money in the long run.”

“Straight Through Processing makes a difference for me every single day,” said Clark. “I wouldn’t want to go back to manual check processing now that I’ve seen the benefits. As I continue to grow my business and hire employees to take over some of my roles, Straight Through Processing is going to save me even more time and more money. I’m excited to see Straight Through Processing grow and I’m looking forward to growing my business right alongside it.”

“I would often refuse to accept credit card payments because of their high fees and I’d tolerate the slower time to receive check payments because I did not have an alternative,” said Clark. “Now, if my customers wish to pay by credit card, I’m willing to allow them to do so as long as they’re using AvidXchange, because I know first-hand that I’m going to save time and money in the long run.”

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