All the hoopla around mobile payments is all fine and good and I find it fascinating, but the reality is that many small businesses have a hard enough time just collecting traditional payments. Improving cash flow is probably a goal that all small-business owners hold close to their hearts.
I wrote about this topic in January, after a conversation with one of the Web services companies hoping to alleviate this challenge, Bill.com. Recently, I spent time chatting with the CEO of another company creating these sorts of electronic payment and cash-flow management services explicitly for small businesses, PaySimple.
PaySimple provides accounts receivable services aggregate the sorts of collection services that more and more small businesses are grappling with as their customers increasingly move to electronic payments, including credit-card transactions, debit cards and electronic checks (aka ACH payments). "We put this all under one umbrella," Remer said, pointing to what he feels is his company's biggest differentiators.
PaySimple is banking on the fact that almost 50 percent of all U.S. households are paying at least one of their bills electronically and that more of them will increase this practice in the near future. "We believe this is on the edge of exponential growth," he said.
That trend should give small businesses a great opportunity to address their cash-flow woes, Remer said.
If you peek under the covers, PaySimple has some pretty good credentials backing up its services. It actually provides the technology behind AcceptPay from American Express and Zip for Ink from Chase. For a fee of $35 per month, small businesses can generate an unlimited number of invoices. Of course, they will also have to pay the transaction fees that are generally associated with accepting credit card payments (about 2.39 percent rate, which Remer said is about average).
The latest twist from PaySimple is the addition of mobile applications for both the Apple iPhone and the various Android mobile devices that are aimed at helping small-business owners manage accounts on-the-go. PaySimple hasn't historically been focused on retail businesses; the mobile applications do have a feature accepting mobile payments, but the input currently is manual. PaySimple plans to add a micro reader for mobile payments later this year, Remer said. It also will be announcing more deals, soon, with top-tier financial services partners, he said.