Think You're Making Good Returns on the Float of Your Payables? Think Again
Updated: Mar 13
We've met with several companies recently that have "strongly encouraged" (read forced) their suppliers to accept longer payment terms. The reason is that these companies can make money on the float of those payables. Not so fast. If making a fraction of a point of interest on the float for 30 additional days is "good enough," we've got a better idea: pay your vendors immediately using a one-time use virtual card and get 1% back.
Let's look at an example. Let's assume you receive an invoice from Acme Co. for $50,000. Anvils and rocket-powered roller skates are expensive these days!
Your first option is to force Acme Co. to accept 60-day payment terms. You can then keep that $50,000 in a short-term investment for 60 days and earn, at best, 0.82% interest (assume 5% APY / 365 days * 60 days). Your benefit from that approach is $410 (which is taxable) at the end of 60 days. But several problems arise from this approach: 1) Acme Co. will be very unhappy with your slow payment terms. When it comes to customer service opportunities and favorable pricing, Acme Co. is going to be very reluctant to help you out. 2) You have exposed your accounts payable team to at least 30 additional days of duplicate invoices, email follow ups and requests for payment from your supplier. 3) That open invoice is subject to more attempts at VEC fraud. These hidden costs are eating up any dollars you earn on the float.
Another option is to pay Acme Co. upon receipt of the invoice with a single-use virtual card from Speedchain. The virtual card is free to use - your vendor incurs a small processing fee when they receive payment through their POS, which is normal and expected for any business that accepts card payments. In addition, you get a 1% return on that payment in the form of a non-taxable rebate. Your benefit from this approach is $500 in as little as five days. The benefits are the opposite of the downside in the first scenario. 1) Your vendor is paid immediately and happy. 2) Your Accounts Payable team can reconcile the invoice payment immediately and get it off their plate 3) The fraud risk is almost zero.
The bottom line: more cash with less risk.
What do I do if my vendors won't accept virtual cards?
Luckily, Speedchain has thought of that too. Beyond the payments platform, Speedchain is the only provider with a supplier activation approach included in our member success program. Below are the results of our vendor activation for just one of our customers resulting in a 371% increase in dollar volume on virtual cards.
We leverage the card issuer's rich data network to discover all the businesses that accept card payments in your supplier network (anyone you buy goods or services from). Then we shift those payments from check/ACH to your Speedchain virtual card.
Contact Speedchain today to get started. You're leaving money on the table if you don't.