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Bottomline Launches Paymode-X

Bottomline Technology announced on Tuesday the launch of Paymode-X, a financial supply chain automation solution that combines electronic payments, invoicing and settlement within a single platform. The Software-as-a-Service (Saas) solution is targeted toward medium-to-large-sized enterprises, including Fortune 50 companies, state and local governments, and companies in the $25 million-and-up range.

Paymode-X integrates Bottomline's Business eXchange electronic invoicing solution with the Paymode electronic settlement network. Bottomline acquired Paymode from Bank of America in August 2009 as part of a multi-year agreement in which Bank of America maintains an equity interest in Bottomline and will market Paymode-X to its enterprise customers.

"When we acquired PayMode, our vision was to take the customer set, channel partners and supplier network and combine those with our Business eXchange technology," said Rob Eberle, Bottomline's president and CEO, in a press release. "We've completed this ahead of schedule and look forward to offering the new Paymode-X platform with its next generation capabilities to our current and future customers and channel partners."

The combination of invoicing and payments allows Paymode-X to support a wide range of features in support of buyers and suppliers alike, including purchase order distribution, invoice presentment, matching, general ledger coding, approval, purchase order "flip," prompt pay or dynamic discounting, payment processing, and remittance data delivery.

Buyers pay a monthly subscription fee for access to the network, plus a per-transaction fee that varies based on spending and number of transactions. These costs are more than offset by eliminating the need to write, process and reconcile paper checks, which cost from $3 to $7 each, explained Chip Martin, vice president of enterprise payments, Bottomline Technologies, in a phone interview.

By joining the Paymode-X network, buyers gain the ability to invoice and pay more than 100,000 companies electronically. Typically, more than a third of each new customer's most important suppliers are likely already enrolled and able to receive electronic payments. In some cases, the match rate reaches 50 to 60 percent, according to Martin.

Then, on behalf of the buyers in its network, Bottomline approaches key suppliers with the offer to connect virtually any ERP system or accounting system, whether from a major vendor, a specialty vendor, or a "homebrew" system, to the Paymode-X network, explained Martin.

For suppliers, the benefits of receiving electronic invoices and payments include lower costs through automation; reduced bank borrowing costs from greater visibility of cash flow; faster service from automatic posting to general ledger and ERP systems; and smoother transactions stemming from greater integration between purchase orders and invoices.