Today in B2B payments, AP automation is making a big difference in the construction industry, while Sage acquires Futrli to help SMBs and accountants manage their finances. Plus, the increasing reliance on the cloud puts more focus on digital identities, and Nigerian FinTech Tingo merges with MICT.

Sage Acquires Futrli to Help SMBs, Accountants Manage Finances

Sage, a technology provider for accounting, financial, HR and payroll departments at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), on Thursday (May 12) said it had finalized its acquisition of U.K. cash flow forecasting software platform Futrli.

The deal allows Sage to offer proposal-to-advisory services ahead of the transition to Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment (MTD for ITSA), the company said in a press release. Futrli helps businesses understand cash flow with data-driven three-way forecast financials (profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow) using propriety prediction algorithms based on data-analyzed historical trends, bringing together direct and indirect forecasting methods, using invoices, bills, journals, cash and payment data.

55% of FIs Are Working on a Centralized View of Cash Flow, Liquidity for Corporate Clients

Most financial institutions (FIs) are innovating or planning to innovate new digital solutions to reduce their enterprise clients’ key B2B payments frictions. At the top of their agendas is offering their clients a single view of cash for real-time cash flow management and forecasting. Fifty-five percent of FIs are working to find solutions that will do that, and another 24% plan to work on such a solution, according to “The Innovation Gap,” a PYMNTS and FIS collaboration.

This is both a top digital B2B payment friction that businesses are experiencing and one of the areas in which FIs struggle to offer corporate clients digital payment solutions.

More than 1 in 4 FIs (26%) said real-time cash flow management is a problem area for their corporate clients when paying their suppliers, and 7% said it is the most important problem.

Nigerian FinTech Tingo Announces $900M Merger with MICT

Nigerian agricultural FinTech company Tingo will merge with Nasdaq-listed financial services provider MICT in a deal expected to generate $900 million in yearly revenue and help the companies expand across the African and Asian markets.

The two firms will create an integrated FinTech platform offering that combines the wealth management, share trading and insurance offering capabilities of MICT, with the Tingo FinTech and one-stop-shop marketplace capabilities.

BlueTape Launches Pay-Over-Time Virtual Card for Contractors

BlueTape, which provides payments and financing offerings to the construction sector, has launched the BlueTape Virtual Card, giving contractors across the U.S. the ability to finance their building supply invoices at any construction supply store, according to a Friday (May 13) press release.

With the BlueTape Virtual Card, general contractors and subcontractors who gain paperless approval can purchase supplies from any material suppliers, pay their suppliers using the virtual card at checkout online, on the phone or in-store and pay back BlueTape in 30, 60, 90 or 120 days with no fees and no payments required for the first 30 days, per the release.

Security, Seamless Payments Tradeoff Drives Demand for KYB

With more work being done and services being provided via the cloud, digital identity has become increasingly important.

For one thing, organizations must enable customers to register and log in to their customer-facing applications in a frictionless way. They need to provide simple, seamless interactions while also keeping customer information secure. At the same time, they need to give employees, contractors and partners access to the tools and information they need — a big challenge given the shift to working from home.

For identity provider Okta, that’s meant growing demand for services that provide secure connections between people and technology. In fiscal 2022, the company reached $1.3 billion in revenue and a headcount above 5,000.

Automated Invoicing Breaks Ground in the Construction Industry

While many businesses have fully digitized their consumer-facing operations, they still have a lot of work to do in transforming their business-to-business (B2B) processes. A recent report estimated that companies and their business partners exchange more than 550 billion invoices annually — a number set to quadruple by 2035. Another study found that 89% of SMBs were still processing paper-based or PDF invoices.

Implementing automation for invoice processing can help cut down on wasteful tasks such as typing invoice data, correcting typos and chasing down the status of invoices.

In the May edition of the AP Automation Tracker®, PYMNTS explores how businesses are using accounts payable (AP) automation to streamline invoice processing. It also explores how automating AP could pay dividends to companies in employee retention, as well as worker productivity and cost savings down the road.

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Title Of post: Today in B2B: FIs Work to Give Corporate Clients Centralized Financial View; BlueTape Virtual Card Gives Contractors Up to 120 Days to Pay
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