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Bottomline’s Paymode-X: Overview and analysis of the payment automation solution [PRO]

Before you disrupt B2B payments, you need to start with the legacy payment and AP infrastructure. This is not a world of B2C, where speed and convenience matter the most. It is a messy world, filled with invoices to validate, match, approve, disputes to manage, credit and debit notes to apply, quality and warranty rebates to manage and taxes to account for. It is a world in the U.S. that still clings to check payments as a dominate form of settlement between business partners, and where the concept of real-time payments is only just accelerating.

The inefficiencies in corporate payments include:

  • Low level of automation and high reliance on manual processes to capture invoice data.
  • A lack of straight-through processing and integration options into ERP solutions for payment connectivity.
  • Poor controls and visibility that can lead to payables fraud.
  • Silo approach toward managing different payment streams — cross-border, virtual cards, checks, e-payments, PayPal, etc.
  • Lack of reporting to help treasury assess cash positioning.
  • Challenges for vendors to reconcile and apply cash based on a variety of messaging formats and transmission channels.

Bottomline Technologies saw an opportunity to help enterprises pay their vendors through electronic means and acquired Paymode-X from Bank of America in 2009. At the time, the Paymode-X solution focused on enterprises paying their vendors by ACH (and other electronic means) instead of by check. Today, Paymode-X processes over $200 billion in payments annually for clients ranging from healthcare and education to manufacturing and property management.

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