Streamline Virtual Cards Integration With Coupa Pay and Billtrust
This post was written in partnership with Darren Blair, Senior Director of Bank & Treasury at Coupa Pay and Lesley Taylor, Senior Director of Supplier Success.
Getting paid is a priority for any of your suppliers, but cumbersome and complex accounts payable (AP) processes often produce a significant lag between invoice approval and payment, which, in turn, creates friction across supplier and B2B partner networks. (And if manual systems are involved, there’s a risk that those payments are late and have errors in them.)
Manual financial processes are still slowing down payments
The AP and payment challenges many companies still face are rooted in manual and paper-based financial processes. Ardent Partners recently reported that for U.S. mid-market companies, for example, invoice exceptions are the most commonly reported obstacle, creating severe bottlenecks and driving up processing costs and approval times. Nearly one-third of companies cite lack of visibility into invoice and payment data as a major struggle — meaning too many AP professionals are spending their valuable time updating suppliers on their payment status instead of working strategically. (Read the full report from Ardent Partners here.)
Furthermore, 92% of suppliers are unfortunately experiencing late payments from their business buyers, according to a recent RPMG study on electronic accounts payable. In another study co-sponsored by MasterCard, over two-thirds of buyers state that they are eager to use cards as part of their overall payment strategy to settle supplier invoices.
Virtual cards: What they are and how they work within Coupa Pay
A virtual card is a unique 15- or 16-digit card number which is generated and provides the benefits of paying with a credit card without the risks and inefficiencies of physical cards.
When buyers use virtual cards integrated into Coupa Pay, they benefit from:
- Pre-approved card spend with one-time use virtual cards
- Automated reconciliation
- Reduced payment processing costs
- Increased control and visibility
- Maximized rebates and increased days payable outstanding (DPO)
Learn more in this post about how virtual cards improve cash flow, capture efficiencies, and reduce fraud.
Using Coupa Pay with Billtrust offers several advantages for suppliers, including:
- Accelerating working capital
- Reducing card complexity
- Automating invoice delivery
- Improving customer service
- Delivering consistent data
What is straight-through processing?
An excellent way to reduce this friction is to equip your AP infrastructure for what’s known as straight-through processing (STP). Put simply, STP is an automated process that executes financial transactions electronically and automatically — no manual intervention necessary. It’s an easy win-win for buyers and suppliers. You relieve your AP teams of time-consuming, low-value work, and suppliers get paid quickly, on time, and in the right amounts.
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How does virtual card integration support straight-through processing?
To implement STP in their finance departments, companies are turning to virtual cards. This digital solution offers you the benefits of credit card spend without the inefficiencies and risks of a physical card. At the same time, you can speed up payments to suppliers while automating your own coding and reconciliation. (We outline the differences between physical and virtual cards in this post.) By 2025, the virtual card transaction value is predicted to reach more than $5 trillion.
But are businesses ready to participate in that growth? According to PYMNTS.com, 48% of companies say their current system can't accommodate virtual cards, while 38% cite a lack of experience and 34% point to potentially high costs. This is where collaborating with Coupa Pay makes the difference.
Coupa Pay teams up with leading financial institutions and payment technology providers to make B2B payments smarter and more streamlined. In February 2022, Coupa Pay joined the Billtrust Business Payments Network (BPN) as a provider to enable customers to accelerate and automate electronic payments to Billtrust’s network of suppliers, distributors, and vendors while scaling virtual credit card adoption.
“We’re proud to partner with Billtrust, a leader in helping companies transition from cumbersome paper invoicing and check acceptance, to efficient electronic billing and payments. BPN gives Coupa customers access to thousands of additional suppliers, enabling them to streamline both supplier and buyer payments. We’re proud to be able to maximize our clients’ growth potential by helping them drive more electronic spend including virtual credit cards.” — Roger Goulart, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Alliances at Coupa
How Coupa Pay works with Billtrust to streamline virtual card integration
Coupa Pay and Billtrust provide complimentary functions to help companies both enable virtual card payments and reduce process complexity. On the Coupa Pay side, companies can quickly and easily identify, vet, and connect with different suppliers to create a comprehensive purchase to pay process. Billtrust, meanwhile, makes virtual card acceptance easier for suppliers using the Billtrust Bill Payment Network (BPN). Within the network, businesses can process invoices, execute payments, and track virtual card use. Learn more about the Coupa Pay and Billtrust collaboration here.
Best practices to support virtual card integration and automation
Our webinar features Coupa Pay and Billtrust experts who explain STP, tactical next steps to implement STP using virtual card integration, and strategies to use to increase the access to Coupa Pay’s expansive buyer network for those suppliers that decide to participate.
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