Snab, the Venmo for Business
Venmo is one of the most successful financial applications in the US. Venmo was born as an initiative of various entrepreneurs which decided to end the inneficient process of making peer to peer bank transfers.
Venmo therefore represented a great progress in the US, since it automated the payment process between individuals outside banking interfaces for the first time in the US, becoming one of the great success stories in the Fintech space. Shortly after disrupting the industry, Venmo was acquired by Braintree, and later on by Paypal. Venmo currently has more than 70 million active users.
But. what happens on the business side? How do business to business payments work? Well, that’s a great question with a bad answer. B2B payments, are currently stuck in the past. They look like they are 10 or 15 years behind, and for that reason, there is a need for a Venmo for Business.
How do Business to Business (B2B) payments currently work?
As we said, the payment process between companies is stuck in the past, or at least it has not undergone the improvements in experience that have occurred in payments between individuals, and currently, a Venmo for Business doesn’t yet exist. Obviously, payments between companies have a greater complexity than payments between individuals. Mainly because there are many different steps in the process. There are invoices involved in the process, multiple bank accounts, invoice approval workflows, registration of these in the accounting systems, execution of the payments, issuance of the receipts or supporting documents, and finally, reconciliation of payments with bank movements.
In the next paragraphs, we explain in detail the entire payments flow or accounts payable process between companies, a process that is currently very manual and a headache for financial teams.
Manual reception of invoices
The process of receiving and registering invoices is very tedious. Generally, companies have an email address, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org, and suppliers send invoices to that address. Subsequently, the person in charge of the task in the administration or finance area will receive these invoices in the mail and will manually extract the information. Depending on the size of the company, the process varies partially. In medium and large companies, the person extracts the information from the invoice and inserts it directly into the ERP or accounting system. In smaller companies, the company will enter the information into Excel to create a list of invoices pending payment. In companies with ERP, there are also cases in which they first use the Excel file, and from there they import it into the ERP system.
As you can see, a totally manual and tedious process. In addition, it carries a substantially high risk of error that many companies cannot afford.
The next step, typically, is the invoice approval process. In many cases, there are many companies that print the invoices received and put a stamp on them to save the date of receipt of the invoice. In other cases, they simply record this in the Excel file mentioned above and weekly or every 2 weeks an approval email is prepared (which takes several hours just to prepare) in which the numerous invoices are attached, and a table is included with the required approvals. The person responsible for approvals will receive this email or the bill of invoices pending approval on paper and will approve them either via email or manually.
Again, a totally inefficient process.
Manual wire transfers and bulk payments
Once the invoices are registered and approved, when the day of payment arrives, the person in charge of treasury and payments will go to the interface of your bank to make the payment. In this step, different processes are usually identified depending on the company. On many occasions we see that the finance person goes to the banking interface, and prepares transfers one by one, invoice by invoice, in the bank. So you have to enter the amount, currency, concept, invoice number, and bank account manually. Totally manual process and that can be considered unacceptable considering the existing technologies today. Another very common case consists of reusing the previous transfers made to the supplier in the past, and manually updating the date, quantity, concept, etc. again. Again, a completely manual process that carries a high risk of error. Finally, the third common method when making bill payments is through bank remittances. This is done by exporting an XML or Excel file that is uploaded to the bank portal manually. Once again, a totally archaic process that totally demonstrates the disconnect between banks and accounting systems.
The last step normally occurs after the payment has been made. A payment receipt is generated and sent to the recipient for confirmation of receipt. This again, generally occurs via email and is a process that, repeated with a large number of payments, is totally inefficient.
At the end of the month, the accounting person usually looks at the bank movements and the invoices to reconcile all the payments and make sure that there is no unaccounted payment, or some type of error (probably due to the high degree of manual work of the previously described process). This process is also very tedious and manual, since ultimately a list of paid invoices in Excel is compared to the bank statement, and compared line by line to make sure everything adds up.
Snab, the Venmo for Business
How does Snab payments work?
Snab, the Venmo for Business, was born with the aim of automating and improving all the processes described above, and it was born precisely out of the frustration of experiencing all these processes in the first person. In response to this, Snab was created, to put an end to this bad experience shared by all financiers in this world, wherever they are, since it is a global problem.
Snab centralizes and automates the receipt of invoices, the extraction of information, and offers you a panel or “dashboard” of invoices with their due dates and status. In addition, Snab allows you to create invoice approval flows by department, quantity and automatically sends notifications to the people who are responsible for the approval. Lastly, it allows you to pay bill remittances in one click from Snab, without having to leave the platform.