The Real Benefits of Payment Automation

Payment automation can help you save up to 60 percent in bill pay processing costs, and that’s just one of the benefits. What are the rest? We’ll tell you.


It’s 2016, and technology is literally all-around us. Yet there are still some who hesitate when phrases like “the cloud” and “automation” come up in conversation. Particularly when it comes to money.

If that’s you, we get it. Paper checks as we know them have been around since the 1500s, and paper currency was around hundreds of years before that. We’ve all been doing business this way for decades. Relyco opened its doors in 1989 with paper checks as the flagship product.

But as time passes and technology advances, paper checks may be costing organizations more than helping them make payments.

In fact, payment automation can help you save up to 60 percent in bill pay processing costs, and that’s just one of the benefits. What are the rest? We were getting to that…

Access Your Accounts Anytime, Anywhere

Does everyone in your company work in the same location, all the time? What happens when an invoice needs to be approved but the boss is in Toledo?

Cloud-based payment automation allows companies that are geographically dispersed to share information and speed up the accounts payable process. Our partner, AviXchange, notes that one property management client had people physically driving to other locations with invoices that needed urgent approval before moving to a cloud-based solution.

Such systems also allow you to pay a contractor halfway across the country in less than half the time it would take to mail a paper check.

Payment Automation Offers Greater Safety and Control

One of the biggest accounts payable myths out there is that physical, paper systems are safer. There’s something about holding the piece of paper in our hands that fools us into thinking it’s safer, more real, when the reality is: it’s not.

The FBI estimates that losses from check fraud total $18.7 billion annually, and the average fraud scheme lasts 18 months before it is detected.

With payment automation, you can get a 360° view of your bill pay process, increasing your control and visibility so discrepancies don’t go undetected. Some systems also have built in security measures against fraud. For example, AvidXchage features duplicate invoice detection monitoring.

And what about risks that aren’t fraud-related? Those boxes of accounts payable files may feel safe where they are now, but what if there was a flood, or a fire? One of the benefits of a cloud-based system is the ability to access and recover information, even without the physical copies of invoices or checks.

Cost Savings and Efficiency

As we mentioned before, payment automation can save you a lot of money, and that’s before you take into account the work hours you can save by freeing up your staff to work on other, better things.

Want proof? Recent research from Ardent Partners shows that automation can contribute to cost-reductions of up to 80 percent when compared with manual and/or paper-based methods.

And time? AP automation can reduce invoice approval time from an average of 28 days to 2.7 days.

We know you may still need to use paper checks in certain capacities, and we’re not suggesting that you change the way you run accounts payable entirely. Simply that you streamline it a little, and make your life easier in the process.

Want to learn more? Check out the recording of our Feb. 18th webinar:

Automated Payments Webinar