Payment Operations

How Request-to-Pay Will Transform Digital Payments

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How Request-to-Pay Will Transform Digital Payments
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Around 90% of everyone either shops or banks online, or both. Unfortunately, this has spawned a virtual cottage industry for payment fraudsters. In fact, approximately 63% of businesses have experienced fraud losses in the past 12 months, with $1.2 billion having been stolen during 2018 in the U.K. alone. Enter Exela’s new Request to Pay solution, on which it has partnered with Mastercard Vocalink in the U.K. Under the venture, Exela is developing the Request to Pay Solution, which Mastercard will host and run and Exela will act as distribution partner.

What is Request to Pay?

Request to Pay is a secure messaging service for overlay on top of existing payments infrastructure as a new flexible way to settle bills between businesses, businesses and individuals, and individuals and social contacts. Request to Pay allows end-user solutions to interconnect, and at the same time, provides the basis for the development of new pan-European payment solutions. 

For each “request to pay” transaction, the payer and biller will have the opportunity to communicate in real-time. Supporting and expanding e-commerce and opening up opportunities for value-added services to existing repertoires (such as transaction-financing, liquidity financing, and cash management). Overall, Request to Pay should reduce reconciliation costs and reduce fraud for all parties.

Let’s walk through a Request to Pay use case

For example, let’s envision a consumer traveling for business. Through Request to Pay, the consumer purchases train tickets, and in return, receives a payment confirmation through the communication platform. That’s nothing new, of course, but there’s plenty of opportunity for adding on for the benefit of all parties, as we’ll see. For example:

  • The transportation company can use the communication platform to upsell (for example, ticket upgrades) and cross-sell (for example, amenities for the train ride), in all cases, allowing pre-payment with electronic confirmation, and as an add-on, payment and financing options.
  • Through partnerships with hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions at the destination, the platform can be used to cross-sell additional goods and services to the consumer, for which the consumer can utilize the same variety of payment options.
  • Billers can use the platform to apply for invoice financing, while the bank can use the platform to analyze investment risk, initiate credit checking, and manage payments.

Request to Pay at the European Digital Banking Summit

Exela recently had an opportunity to present Request to Pay at the European Digital Banking Summit (EDBS) in Berlin, Germany in late November 2019. The EDBS is a private invitation-only gathering that plays host to a community of senior digital banking and FinTech leaders from across the European Banking sector who come together to address key challenges and opportunities within the industry.

There were approximately 50 banks and financial institutions in attendance, although the setting was refreshingly personal, according to Ralf Kastner, Christ Vincent, and Huib Gerrits, who represented Exela at the event.  We also gave a series of 30-minute one-on-one presentations to a select group of banks and other financial institutions. We look forward to rolling out our brand new Request to Pay product demonstration in the months to come.

Stay tuned for 2020 updates to our Events calendar, and don’t miss Exela at the 2020 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida. We’re a proud premium sponsor and are hosting two pro-am teams of four golfers.

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Lauren Cahn
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Industry Solutions

U.K. Banks Race Against the Clock to Adopt Confirmation of Payee

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U.K. Banks Race Against the Clock to Adopt Confirmation of Payee
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Now that Brexit’s deadline has come and gone, there’s a new deadline on which U.K. banks are focusing. By March 31, 2020, all must implement processes complying with “Confirmation of Payee,” a regulation put into place by the U.K. payments authority, Pay.UK, that is intended to fight payment fraud in the context of real-time payments by giving bank customers assurance their payments are directed to their intended recipient. Essentially, Confirmation of Payee (CoP) automates payee-verification before a payment goes through in real-time.

A number of large U.K. banks have already adopted CoP. Others still lag behind, which might seem surprising considering the pounds equivalent of more than $430 million was lost to payment fraud in 2018 alone. But the deadline looms, and Exela is prepared to assist its global banking customers with its own CoP solution, which leverages the Open Banking Directory and artificial intelligence to exchange CoP requests and work toward validating destination and account holders. Exela’s solution, which debuted at Finovate Europe 2019, is part of its highly-regarded Banking and Financial Services Suite and is expected to work as an important step in the process of combatting payment fraud.

In a recent article for B2C, Exela’s Senior Vice President, Business Strategy and Sales, David Jones, reviewed the imminent need for CoP in the U.K. and the how Exela’s solution works in a way that will be transparent to bank customers (except in those instances when a mismatch is identified). Jones also notes that due to Exela’s flexible deployment model, the service can be delivered to banks at a relatively low cost.

“We are excited about the expansion of our global banking solution with the launch of Exela CoP,” notes Vitalie Robu President EMEA, Exela Technologies. “Our team will continue to explore new technology-enabled solutions to improve the lives of our customers, and work with global financial institutions to automate their business processes. 

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Lauren Cahn
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Industry Solutions

Payment Operations

Transform the AR and AP process

Payment Operations

We have leveraged our decades of banking and finance experience to bring together interconnected solutions that help simplify and streamline payment operations.

From optimized billing, statements, and ePresentment solutions, to AP and AR workflow efficiencies and our lockbox and remittance processing platform, Exela has the software, automation technologies, and expertise necessary to take your payment operations to a higher level.

Comprehensive lockbox and remittance processing services

Engaging electronic presentment and payment options

Full AR processing solutions and industry-leading collections management

Billing and statement optimization

Lockbox & Remittance Solutions

Exela’s Transaction Management System (TMS) provides one of the industry’s most comprehensive and flexible payment processing solutions available. Our web-based, image-assisted lockbox enables data synchronization between all locations, efficient change management, and an improved disaster recovery protocol.

Enhanced Billing & ePresentment

Content optimization services help improve billing and statement design to create clear messaging, clear data presentation, and an improved customer experience. We encourage you to use every opportunity to promote ePresentment options and to use transpromo marketing to drive ROI.

Integrated Receivables & Collections Management

We can help you coordinate every stage of your receivables system from intake, processing, and AR reconciliation, through exceptions management, data storage, and analytics. Automated tools will identify and flag aging accounts, and our industry-leading collection services add the final layer to our complete accounts receivable system.

Accounts Payable Enablement

Exela’s P2P platform offers a single integrated environment for easy collaboration between buyers, suppliers, shared service providers, and financial institutions. Benefit from greater visibility into the AP process, reduced administrative costs, improved cash flows, and flexible dynamic discounting opportunities to build stronger partner relationships.

Disbursement Processing

A flexible solution for fast payments in any currency and compatible with numerous payment types. We include the data monitoring, analytics, security, and support you need to create an enhanced disbursement workflow that saves time and valuable resources.

Industry Credentials
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Banking and financial services suite

Put Exela’s Banking and Financial Services Suite at the core of your operations to unify receivables, automate disbursements, smooth the payment cycle, refine KYC and AML, optimize analytics, manage risk, and improve user experience.

Banking Giant Saves Millions by Outsourcing LockBox Operations to Exela

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Finance & Accounting
Features & Benefits

Faced with increasing economic pressures, an expanding geographic footprint and more demanding customers, financial institutions are choosing to outsource peripheral lockbox processing functions and re-focus efforts on upgrading and expanding core offerings. Aside from the obvious cost-savings implications, relying on the expertise of a dedicated LockBox provider can offer businesses several strategic advantages. Amid a rigid regulatory landscape and growing privacy concerns, the need for effective security controls and enhanced compliance measures is more important than ever. And, many organizations don’t want to be burdened with added investments in state-of-the art equipment and emerging technologies. By outsourcing their LockBox operations, financial institutions are finding new ways of diverting and re-allocating resources and expenditures for improved productivity and competitive gain.

CHALLENGE:

As one of the top 8 financial institutions in the U.S., this firm was searching for opportunities to maintain its competitive edge in a continuously evolving and demanding marketplace. Delivering superior products and customer experiences was at the forefront of its priorities. But, extensive resources were being pulled away from its core banking operations to manage its LockBox processing activities, spread across six different cities. The bank was also struggling to keep on top of emerging technologies and the latest industry best practices, while, at the same time, trying to improve customer retention and acquisition rates through exceptional customer service. Although the bank has been outsourcing other onsite operations to Exela for the past 30 years, it wanted to take the next step towards total re-allocation of resources. Customer data security and privacy were additional considerations for the bank.

SOLUTION:

To advance its strategic agenda, and leverage the expertise and technology of others in this space, the bank made the decision to outsource its LockBox operations. It sought the assistance of a specialized technology provider that was well-versed in executing large, onsite remittance implementations. It selected Exela because of its vast network of talent; versatile service-delivery model; technologically-advanced applications; and experience managing operations across multiple sites. The solution, valued at 100 million dollars, has expanded in scope to include the following:

  • LockBox Processing: Exela is charged with overseeing and executing all aspects of the firm’s LockBox operations across six locations; utilizing existing facilities and equipment. As part of the end-to-end solution, Exela manages mail retrieval; image and data capture; archival; delivery; remittance; and the secure transfer of customers’ information.

  • Worked with HR to establish a transition team

  • Employee Conversion: To complete the total transfer of LockBox operations, Exela added over 600 on-site bank employees to its workforce. This is in addition to the more than 1,500 employees that have been re-badged during this partnership. To ensure a successful conversion, the following procedures were completed prior to implementation:

    • Collaborated with bank staff to determine important goals for the transition process

    • Established a transition team by working with Exela’s Human Resources and Recruiting departments

    • Implemented peer to peer support and knowledge transfer programs for transitioned employees

    • Scheduled regular cadence and toll-gate employee reviews

  • Robust Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan

    • Recovery procedures and recovery time objectives for each application or critical infrastructure

    • Roles and responsibilities of technology recovery teams

    • Communication plan

    • Procedures on how to invoke the technology recovery plan(s)

    • Dependencies on other plans (including technology)

    • Prioritization strategy

    • Back-up procedures including frequency and retention

  • Enhanced Governance Model

    • Weekly meetings, status calls, gate reviews

    • Dedicated project manager

    • Constant communication among key client and Exela stakeholders

    • SharePoint team site

    • Established product requirements / assumptions / constraints

    • Developed team action report

    • Implemented project cost controls

    • Utilized status dashboard

    • Instituted steering committee consisting of high-level Exela management

    • Initiated change control process; internal audits and sponsor feedback procedures

BENEFITS:

A partnership with Exela has produced several positive results. Most notably, is a cost savings of $40 Million over the last 10 years. The bank has also achieved 99% of its performance goals. Leveraging the resources and expertise of an established LockBox provider has allowed the bank to dedicate its operations to the development and delivery of core banking products, while delighting customers with exceptional service. Some additional benefits include:

  • Minimal investment in equipment ownership and maintenance

  • Continuity of labor and employee wages

  • Mitigation of privacy and information security risk

  • Opportunity for future process improvement and cost-savings

  • Courier service/mail delivery reliability

  • High level of processing accuracy

  • Consistency of workflows across bank sites

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