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Resources   /   Glossary

Online Payment Platforms

Accounts payable processing is a necessary financial management practice for every business. B2B bill payments must be efficient, well organized, and well recorded for a business to succeed and maintain positive relationships with suppliers.

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However, many businesses are spending more time and effort on traditional, manual accounts payable processes than necessary. Payment processing can be automated for your business with an electronic payment system. You can cut down on wasted time, money, and resources. When the team is not spending as much time on manual accounts payable matters, they can reallocate their time to other more strategic areas. They can focus on value-added work instead of spending their time on repetitive tasks that could be done just as effectively by automation software.

That is where online payment platforms come into play.

Online payment platforms allow a business to process invoices and pay them electronically. These platforms help automate the AP process from start to finish by converting invoices to a digital format, then automatically organizing and routing them to the appropriate people for approval. Once the right approvals have been obtained, the software will pay the invoice automatically. Switching to paperless billing streamlines the billing process, reduces paper use, and provides complete visibility into every step of AP approval and payment processing.

AvidXchange’s suite of AP automation solutions, for example, includes an online payment platform coupled with invoice automation for processing invoices and automating the approval of invoices throughout the entire payment process. Moreover, our AvidPay tool can automatically pay invoices after they have been approved.

Even though the software does the heavy lifting, the user remains in control of the entire operation, with the ability to access paperless statements at any time and track each invoice through one dashboard. You can keep track of invoices through the approval process, and you can automate bill payments for approved invoices with AvidXchange as well.

Types of Online Payment

There are many types of online payment options available today, especially as finance departments realize just how inefficient processing paper invoices truly can be; however, not all options can be easily customized to meet your particular business needs. That is where AvidXchange may be able to help you. With an impressive 700,000—and counting—in our AvidPay Network of suppliers, we make it so that you can adhere to the online payment methods that your suppliers prefer. You do not have to adjust your or your suppliers’ current way of doing business to make use of AvidXchange. We have designed our online payment systems to meet your needs.

We understand that you already have to accommodate for so many different suppliers and might not have to time carefully parse a list of which online payment methods are preferred by which suppliers. We take the guesswork out of the entire process by offering different payment methods for businesses. Whether they prefer to receive their payments via MasterCard or ACH, or check, we can make it work for all parties.

There are many other advantages to adopting an online payment system. For one, dollar-amount thresholds for recurring payments can be specified to avoid the inconvenience of repeatedly contacting the same people to approve the same amounts. Moreover, users can easily track invoices throughout every step of the automation process and access important metrics that provide valuable information about the state of the business’s accounts payable.

In the end, of course, what matters is that all vendors are paid the amount they expect when they expect it. That is what software can help streamline: companies paying their vendors how and when they want to be paid.

Online Payment Processors

One of the most important functions of online payment processors is that they process all payments to vendors without significant manual input from your accounts payable team. Moreover, the most effective online payment processors can handle all types of online transactions. It does not matter how a vendor wishes to receive their money; the system is designed to allow businesses to adhere to their vendors’ preferences and submit payments accurately and promptly, in the form they prefer.

Finding the perfect online payment processor for your business may take time, especially if you are just learning about this type of technology. As you research and learn more about online payment processors, however, you may find that some sources point you toward AvidXchange as the best online payment processing system.

This makes sense, of course. We take pride in our flexibility––that is, what is important to us is that businesses can pay their vendors according to their needs, on time, and without fuss. What’s more, AvidXchange can be completely paperless. That means that you may never have to worry about handling paper invoices again. You can view all of your statements and payment history on our digital system.

Online Payment Services for Small Businesses

By implementing an online payment platform into their everyday workflow, businesses can greatly expedite the invoice approval process and eliminate redundancies in the system. That said, when it comes to the best ACH payment processing for small businesses, AvidXchange may not be the right fit––at least, not immediately.

For most small businesses, accounts payable is a fairly straightforward process. They do not have as many bills to pay; as such, their invoicing system is not complex enough to warrant specialized software to handle invoices for them. This is especially true if they are not operating within an industry known for its complex invoicing structure.

That said, just because AvidXchange is not one of the more ideal online payment services for small businesses does not mean that small businesses could never benefit from adopting our software. When businesses are still young and finding their footing, they are more suited to finding the best online payment processing for small businesses. However, when they grow larger, AvidXchange can help them transition to our software with ease. If your small business focuses on e-commerce, then you may want to instead look for the best payment gateway for small businesses.

Running a business is a trying affair, no matter how large or small. Online payment methods for small businesses differ from the methods employed by larger enterprises. However, small businesses can still benefit from understanding how AvidXchange works so that they can more easily adopt our system when the time comes.

Payment Processing Companies

At the end of the day, you want to seek out payment organizations that prioritize efficiency and security. Payment processing companies vary in their offerings and features; however, some stand out more than others in terms of innovation and versatility. When searching for the best ACH payment processing companies, you will want to keep in mind the following qualities:

  • Increased efficiency: A paperless online payment software automates the AP workflow entirely, which means suppliers get paid on time, and employees are free to focus on other important tasks instead of sorting through paperwork.
  • Improved visibility: Online payment software allows businesses to store AP data in a centralized digital location that is accessible from anywhere, even if you aren’t at the office. This means no more digging through filing cabinets to piece together a paper trail for an audit or report.
  • Enhanced security: Automated AP billing can provide more security than typical paper billing by reducing the chance of exposing sensitive corporate information to fraud.
  • Better scalability: An online payment system is capable of automatically handling even the largest of operations’ AP processes and eliminating the restrictions that prevent small companies from expanding as quickly as they could.

Online Payment Apps

Online bills payment is essential for those running a middle-market business. Paper invoices and checks are simply too time consuming to track, process, and manage. There are many types of online payment apps available on the market today. As is the case with most accounts payable tools, the one that best suits your needs will depend on a number of individual business factors.

That said, finding the best digital payment option can be very important to improving efficiency and productivity of your accounts payable team. One thing to consider is how AvidXchange may fit your needs because it is flexible. Businesses can pay their vendors according to their vendors’ specific requests. AvidXchange also offers a feature common to many online payment apps: it is cloud-based. You can log in to your account and access your invoice information whenever you need to access it, whether working from the office or working remotely.

In summary, using online payment software as an online payment platform can offer flexibility, security, and ease of use. Abandoning outdated methods of handling accounts payable processes via paper invoices can help you improve the workflow in your AP team if you invest in a system that works for professionals across all departments.

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