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How Small Businesses Can Streamline Payments to Suppliers

March 3, 2022

Small businesses have better things to do than waste lots of time managing payments to suppliers.

But it can take seven to 10 days to get a paper check into the hands of a supplier. And that’s on top of the days or weeks it can take for an invoice to weave its way through a buyer’s approval process.

Things are more complicated now that finance professionals are working from home.

Blame the antiquated way that most businesses make and manage payments. The smaller your business, the more likely you are to pay your suppliers with paper checks and rely on spreadsheets to reconcile it all.

  • printing checks
  • chasing down approvals
  • stuffing envelopes
  • reconciling bank statements
  • responding to supplier inquiries

All of this - eats up a big part of a finance pro’s day.

But even businesses that have migrated to electronic payments still struggle to pay suppliers on time. That’s because they use a hodgepodge of loosely integrated standalone solutions, bank portals, and closed-loop networks for managing the different methods they use to pay suppliers. In many cases, these payment solutions, portals, and networks aren’t even connected to a small business’ accounting software or enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, resulting in more manual keying.


Small businesses have too much riding on their operational efficiency and supplier relationships to allow broken payment processes to go unchecked. The costs of late-payment penalties, missed early pay discounts (which typically average 2% of the total invoice due amount), and wasted staff time add up fast. That’s why more businesses, especially small and midsized ones, are automating the way they make and manage supplier payments by deploying an embedded payment solution.

How to Reduce the Time it Takes to Pay Suppliers

Embedded payment solutions seamlessly connect to any legacy accounting software or ERP application to enable finance pros to make any payment from directly within the solutions they use every day to manage their company’s finances. Users can instantly make or schedule one or more payment with just a few clicks of the mouse. And the technology supports any type of payment (including Automated Clearing House, Real-Time Payment, Mastercard Send, cross-border and cryptocurrency), and any payment rail (including real-time).

Leading embedded payment solutions offer open banking connectivity, enabling businesses to initiate payments from any existing bank account – there’s no need to setup or pre-fund another bank account.

Embedded payment solutions streamline outbound payments in four ways:

Reduced Staff Time

Making and managing payments to suppliers can consume a finance pro’s day. Accounts payable becomes more complex as a business grows and expands globally. The efficiencies provided by embedded payment solutions free up staff to focus more time on growth-generating activities. Single or mass payments can be made instantly or scheduled with a few clicks of the mouse.

Managing all payments from a single portal eliminates the need to log into multiple systems. Payment data is reconciled in real-time and uploaded to the company’s ERP without the need for double-keying or spreadsheets. And answers to inquiries about the status of payments are instantly available to finance pros.

Faster Processes

Payments can be initiated within seconds and some payment types can be deposited within moments, avoiding the possibility of late payments. Prompt payments eliminate late payment penalties, keep valued suppliers happy, and reduce the volume of inbound calls and emails from suppliers and stakeholders about where things stand.

Improved Cash Management

An embedded payment solution provides finance pros with real-time visibility into all pending, in-process, and completed payments, so there’s never any guesswork about the company’s financial obligations. Open banking connectivity removes the guesswork of how much money is in a bank account.

The technology also puts smart metrics such as the value of the payments in process, the value of invoices ready-to-pay by supplier, and the value of payments over a period at the fingertips of decision-makers. And payments can be made instantly or schedule for when cashflow will be more favorable.

Easy Setup

Small businesses know that printing and mailing checks waste lots of time. But few businesses have the appetite for a long and complicated deployment of an electronic payment solution. Embedded payment solutions solve this problem.

The SaaS-based technology is deployed within moments. Pre-built integrations with popular ERPs such as QuickBooks, Acumatica, Sage Intacct, and others remove technical complexity. And an online onboarding module guides finance pros through the process of connecting the solution to their company’s accounting software or ERP and bank.

Many small businesses can begin making payments electronically within hours of completing the onboarding process. With support for any payment type or payment rail through an all-in-one portal, small businesses also can rest easy knowing that the technology can support their future business needs.

Discover how easy paying your suppliers can be.

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