Within the B2B space, many factors can contribute to poor customer/vendor relationships. One common factor is confusion surrounding payments — who paid, how much and for what?
This year, more and more small-medium businesses (SMBs) are seeking e-payment alternatives to conventional paper cheques. Considering that most account payables solutions today are still too expensive or too sophisticated, particularly for small businesses, ACH and wire transfer payments completed through traditional banking portals are becoming increasingly popular among SMBs.
The problem with a transition from paper cheques to ACH is that the payment information (remittance advice) must now travel separately from the actual payment — and that’s only if the remittance advice is even sent to begin with.
At this point, you might be wondering, what remittance advice is and why it’s useful. Let’s look at the example of a customer who pays his vendor via ACH. There’s really no way for this vendor to know which invoice they were paid for or if it was paid on time, unless they were to track it down in their banking statements and manually match it with the invoice.
So, as a best practice, customers send remittance advice, which is technically a payment notification (in the form of an email) telling the vendor this is how much we paid you for that particular invoice.
What Information Remittance Advice Should Include:
Pros & Cons of Sending Remittance Advice
Sending remittance advice is considered a courtesy and not a mandatory task. It saves vendors a great deal of time with their month-end invoice matching and reduces inquiry calls and confusion surrounding payments. Sending remittance advice also helps customers maintain peace of mind knowing that their vendors are now aware that they got paid.
However, sending those remittance emails is a tiring process, whether you want to make sure it’s done right after paying each bill or whether you want to spend a couple hours at the end of every month to do it.
Remittance Linker by FISPAN
Businesses looking to improve their vendor relationships, save time required to maintain those relationships, and do so without paying a single dollar can use Remittance Linker. Remittance Linker is a free tool that connects with your accounting software (QuickBooks Online & Xero) and makes sure your vendors automatically receive remittance advice each time you pay your bills — just as you normally do in your accounting software.
Here’s what Remittance Linker users are saying about the product:
“It’s really amazing! The amount of time it used to take us to make sure every vendor has received the information is hectic. We love Linker so far, it’s saving us time and it’s free, I really have nothing else to say.” - Tom
“Every month-end we have a lot of payments to make and as a result, emails to send. Honestly, I got tired of doing it all manually, and then I found Linker. It’s great so far, it’s saving me so much time!” - Leo
Linker saves time not only because it’s incredibly user-friendly, but also because it’s designed in such a way that it only needs to be set up once. After that, you can simply forget about having to send those emails because Remittance Linker does it on your behalf as you carry on with business as usual.
Even the one-time setup process is easier than you might think. All you have to do is customize the email template so it reflects your company's brand (logo and colour), select which vendors you want to receive remittance emails moving forward, and you’re set to go!
It’s All About The User Experience
At FISPAN, we believe good User Experience (UX) is vital for delivering successful products, and remittance advice is just one such example. While we introduced this service in the small business market, where strong UX has already gone from a differentiator to an expectation, FISPAN is bringing that slick experience to the mid and large enterprise market; a space still drowning in legacy and frustrating UX.