Integration of payments into ERP software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the digital age must increasingly incorporate integrated payments.
EVO B2B Vice President of Product Management Nikki Nguyen told PYMNTS that integrating payments into ERP software and linking them with other back-office functions – such as accounting, payroll or Accounts Receivable Services – can benefit businesses across many verticals.
Issues with non-integrated payments
When a company decides to integrate payments into its ERP system, the main reasons for doing so, according to Nguyen, are efficiency and accuracy.
“Without the ability to integrate payments into the ERP system, companies would have to manually enter payment data multiple times into different systems,” she said.
These processes related to the manual entry of payment data into the ERP system waste time and resources. Manual processes also open what she called “large windows for human error.” To address these risks, back-office teams should spend even more time reconciling payment data to ensure the information is correct.
How in-app payments can help
At a high level, she said, with integrated payments, “everything is, essentially, automated.” Payment data is synchronized in the ERP system and payments are “automatically recognized” against unpaid invoices to provide real-time accounting reports.
Integrated payment processing solutions, similar to what companies might call a customer portal, offer end customers the ability to pay online. This helps businesses speed up the collection process and reduce late or missed payments, which, in turn, can improve their overall cash flow.
Real integrations are made easier with the advent of the cloud and can facilitate omnichannel access with centralized data and easy-to-use interfaces.
“Cloud technology provides immediate access to software updates and feature enhancements,” she said.
Additionally, integrated cloud-based payment solutions can help businesses secure their data.
Payment card data is among the most common types of data targeted by cyber thieves. Cloud technologies have enabled developers to integrate payment processing with applications such as those offered by EVO “without having to come into contact or even touch sensitive data in the first place. By leveraging these cloud technologies, companies can use integrated payment applications and at the same time discharge their payment [card] security requirements for [secure cloud] service providers.”
ERP integrations, Nguyen said, level the playing field between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises. Small businesses tend to have relatively limited resources, at least in terms of manpower. With smaller businesses, “their staff is a much smaller team, so they’ll get the most out of not having to hire additional staff to help manage payments.”
On the other side of the equation, large companies with complex business processes will see the benefit of not having disconnected payment systems by integrating payments across all payment channels.
“By eliminating the need for manual entry and reconciliation of payments, businesses and their staff regain the ability to focus on more important core business functions,” Nguyen said.