Plenty of companies still rely on disparate payment systems and processes. But for many, the events of the last 18 months have led to a sharper focus on the need for digital and efficient solutions. Indeed, 2021 FIS Readiness Report found that 68% of treasury and finance executives planned to invest in digital payment technology over the next 12 months.
While digitization is moving up the priority list, not all companies are familiar with the full range of services that a payment solution vendor can offer. You might be aware that cost-efficient cloud solutions can help you simplify your payments processes, gain visibility into cash flows and reduce the risk of fraud. But did you know that some vendors also offer additional managed services that can alleviate the burden associated with managing your application and data?
For firms that are trying to do more with fewer resources than in the past, managing applications and data in-house can result in higher costs. In today’s environment, companies face additional risks. For example, if all your payments are processed from a single office and there is an outbreak of the virus in that office, how would your payments be processed?
To help with these challenges, some payment vendors offer a variety of managed services that can alleviate the burden of managing your application and data, and de-risk your payments processing activities. This might include an interface monitoring service to check for format changes by banks which, if undetected, could cause technical failures. Vendors may also be able to monitor your application for errors, such as account numbers that are missing a digit, and check file imports from your ERP system to ensure the process is working correctly. Or, simply outsource bank connectivity setup to a team of specialized resources, also taking away a large part of the burden of having to comply with strict security rules like those imposed by SWIFT’s Customer Security Program.
Companies also now expect to increase their adoption of vendor business process as a service (BPaaS) offerings. According to the 2021 FIS Readiness Report, 33% have indicated their payments function will increase its reliance on a BPaaS operating model over the next 12 months. That means delegating entire elements of their business function a third-party provider – usually in the cloud – with specialist expertise and economies of scale to drive increased efficiency and productivity: for example, outsourcing the collection of 1,000 bank statements every day and the processing of 100,000 payments per month – all with an outcome-based SLA.
As well as managing the application on your behalf, some vendors can take on the day-to-day maintenance of static data that resides within your application. Managed services can also include configuration support, including optimizing the onboarding of new banks for payments.
In other words, you may already be taking advantage of a sophisticated payment solution, but it’s still worth considering whether managed services can help you get more value from your investment, de-risk your processes and free up your users to focus on strategic activities.