FastPay Named Best B2B Payments Solution of 2019

In an annual listing of 50 companies that are at the forefront of providing fintech solutions and impacting the marketplace, CIOReview has selected FastPay as the Best B2B Payments Solution of the year. This recognition comes from a distinguished panel of CEOs, CFOs, and industry analysts that have closely scrutinized and nominated the best-in-class vendors in the fintech marketplace.

“These vendors are domain experts who are innovating the fintech space with new technologies, a fresh perspective and new found energy while giving customers the flexibility and security that they need,” said CIOReview.

CIOReview is a leading technology publication that bridges the gap between enterprise IT vendors and buyers by providing insights and opinions of C-suite executives and leaders on the wide range of choices available in the tech arena.

“In an age where there is an influx of invoices, approving, and processing them manually is next to impossible. What FastPay brings to the table is a highly automated and algorithmic system to seamlessly manage tons of complex invoices making the process more smart and scalable,” said CIOReview. “They empower advertisers, agencies, media suppliers, and technology companies with smarter payments covering the entire media ecosystem, increased access to capital, and intelligent back-office workflows that improve efficiency and reduce cost.”

“We’re continually on the quest to better serve our media clients with advanced offerings such as our recently launched FastPay Network. It’s encouraging to see the team’s hard work recognized alongside some of the most innovative fintech companies in the industry,” said Rick Weir, VP of Marketing at FastPay. To learn more about our recent honor, check out the feature article here.

Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them

Media finance professionals understand the complexity of the invoice to payment process. Suppliers often feel like banks, waiting for more than 110 days to be paid only to experience further delays with discrepancy resolution. Agencies have their hands full with a variety of payment terms, manual check writing, and have little incentive for paying suppliers quickly. The friction points are endless – until now.

We’re happy to introduce, FastPay Network, the industry’s first solution that bridges the gap between suppliers and agencies to deliver faster payments, automated workflow, and reduced costs. During the “You Can’t Live With Them, You Can’t Live Without Them” panel at the Media Finance Focus Conference, FastPay Chief Strategy Officer, David Frogel, announced that FastPay Network is the only platform-based solution linking suppliers and agencies to streamline and expedite media payments.

Industry experts, Breck Templeton of 9thWonder, Edward Mockus of Discovery, Frank Connolly of Viamedia, and Patrick Kennedy of AL Media sat down with David to explore the reality of agency and supplier friction points. “Payment terms are lengthening, and agencies can get caught in that pinch. There isn’t enough incentive for the agencies to pay faster. It’s a lot of data points to manage when using checks,” said Breck Templeton, Chief Financial Officer of 9thWonder. The other panelists agreed that radical change needs to be brought to the media payment cycle. “Both sides can benefit from compressing the cycle,” said Edward Mockus.

When discussing solutions to friction points, David Frogel said, “It’s not uncommon for a $50 discrepancy to hold up a $100k invoice. We’re creating solutions for suppliers that can eliminate issues with invoicing before discrepancies occur. If a necessary data point is off, our solution spots it and can resolve an invoicing issue before the invoice is even submitted. It’s the simple things that can actually move the needle in your overall DSO.”

FastPay Network is designed to connect suppliers and agencies so that suppliers gain more control over the AR process and agencies have an incentive for paying on net terms. Faster payment, better data, and greater visibility make accounts receivable more predictable, which means less friction for all.

If you’re a media supplier interested in getting your invoices paid in 30 or 60 days, see how you can join the network here.

Why AP Departments Should Digitize Their Payments

With the tech-savvy world we live in today, media agencies are facing increasing pressure to adapt and keep up with their trendsetting clients. Yet, in a recently commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, it was found that media buying agencies are still making nearly ⅓ of their payments by check.

It’s true, there are some suppliers out there that only accept checks despite digital transformation across the industry, but for all the others, why do we remain in the dark ages? Especially when agency AP professionals report challenges such as these:

  • 52% experienced late payments
  • 51% encountered manual errors
  • 40% lost checks in the mail
  • 30% paid additional processing and material costs

Not only does this prove to be costly and time-consuming, but it also has the opportunity to damage a company’s reputation with both brands and media suppliers. With wide-reaching effects, it’s more important than ever for agencies to update their payment processes and embrace the world of digital payments.

Reduction in errors, improved process efficiency, cost savings and cost reduction – these are just some of the many benefits AP leaders have reported after making the transition to an electronic payments solution.

“Agencies have a unique opportunity to optimize their AP department and reinvent the ad purchasing process, it’s just a matter of time before we see this shift happen everywhere,” said Michael Wehner, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Payments.

Ready for your AP department to catch up with the times? Download the Forrester study: “It’s Time for Media Agencies to Digitize the last Mile of Payments.”

 

Who Run the World? Girls!

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re honored to highlight one of the many inspirational women working at FastPay – Danielle Baldaro.

As the sixth employee at the company, Danielle has been instrumental in building what FastPay is today. From laying the foundation in operations to developing the portfolio management team from scratch, she’s been a part of it all. But it hasn’t been without its difficulties.

Danielle went to school while working full time for a small asset-based lender, and after investing more than ten years she found herself reaching a glass ceiling. That didn’t stop her though. She continued to work hard and persevere in the competitive industry, and she’s now the VP of Portfolio Management at FastPay, working mother to three-year-old Hudson, and an inspirational leader admired by many.

“I have worked with Danielle for almost seven years now, and I can always, without fail, count on her. She never ceases to make me laugh and encourages me even on days when she’s stressed and busy,” said Scott Nelson, Marketing and Events Manager at FastPay.

Whether it’s in the office or at home, she leads by example in everything she does. Words of wisdom from the woman herself: “Work hard. Do your best. Be a champion for yourself. Don’t expect anything to be handed to you even if you work hard. You have to advocate for yourself and speak up, it’s up to you to make it happen,” said Danielle.

Shout out to Danielle and all of the amazing women who continue to rock it every day at FastPay! We’re very thankful for each and every one of you.

Welcome the Newest Member of the FastPay Family!

We’re full steam ahead this year, and we’ve been busy hiring some pretty great people. One we want you to meet is Theresa Mueller, the new VP of Political Payments.

Coming from the media buying world, Theresa isn’t a stranger to the complexities of payments, especially when it comes to political media. Unlike traditional media, political agencies are required to pre-pay to ensure media will run as scheduled which means printing, scanning, and overnighting with FedEx® to meet last minute deadlines.

But these challenges are what entices Theresa – finding efficient solutions for political agencies. Already in her short time since joining FastPay, she’s seen clients directly benefit from the platform.

“I’ve seen the FastPay technology in action, and it works even better than I could have imagined. The platform is solid, reliable, and makes life so much easier for AP departments dealing with the quick pace of political ad buying,” said Theresa.

Theresa isn’t just all business. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling to new places, running around D.C., playing midfield in her local Women’s soccer league, and spending time with her fiance.

Join us in welcoming her to FastPay!

Global Tech Platform Secures $25M Facility With FastPay

We’re happy to announce that in just three months FastPay secured a $25M facility for a global ad tech platform.

Unlike venture banks, we understand the ongoing challenges of lengthy payment terms and do not penalize companies for working with tier-one companies. We lean into what others label ‘risky’ and instead take a data-centric approach to approving credits, ensuring you can continue to grow and scale your business. 

“When you have a thorough understanding of the space and know how agencies and brands interact, you can begin to offer clients custom flexibility and availability. When our clients succeed, we succeed,” said Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Business Development and Origination at FastPay.

With diversified capital sources and ten years of experience, FastPay has already secured the movement of more than $5B in the space, helping media and technology companies access facilities as high as $100M and freedom from the ‘other guys.’

The [FastPay] Circus is in Town

What happens when you get FastPay employees from London, San Francisco, New York, D.C., Boston, and Los Angeles together in one room? A FastPay circus…also known as FastCon.

But FastCon is more than just a gathering of wild animals. It’s our annual convention for FastPay employees to get together, bond, strategize, and solidify goals for the year ahead. But in order to do so, we had to find the perfect space, outside of the office, to inspire innovation and creativity. The result…a VR arcade, of course.

So with a world of virtual mazes, flying games, and escape rooms awaiting us, we got down to business and envisioned FastPay’s future in the world of FinTech. After many hours of thoughtful conversations with leadership, brainstorming sessions with fellow peers, and motivational talks with industry experts we left the room feeling inspired and ready to take on 2019.

And while there’s a lot of exciting opportunities in store for us this coming year, one thing remains the same… our mission. Our mission to, not only, provide the best service to our clients but to also reduce the friction between suppliers and buyers within the complex media landscape.

Some may say this is an ambitious mission. But just like the circus has a room full of ring leaders, tightrope walkers, and unicyclists; we have a company full of innovative thinkers, problem solvers, passionate creatives, and multi-talented employees that perform awe-inspiring acts everyday… now it’s just a matter of pulling off the greatest show on Earth.

So right this way, Ladies and Gentlemen, watch as FastPay takes on the tech-nifying year of 2019.

Webinar Recap: Learn How Suppliers Can Optimize Interactions with Agency Finance

On Wednesday, FastPay participated in a webinar hosted by the BCCA… the media industry’s credit association, titled, “How credit can interact with agency finance departments more efficiently.”    

David Frogel, Chief Strategy Officer at FastPay, delivered the webinar to an audience of media suppliers covering some common issues and perceptions about media agencies. Frogel, a former COO/CFO of an advertising agency, shared with the attendees his insights on what goes on behind the scenes of an agency finance department and suggestions for media suppliers on how to optimize interaction with an agency. Specific supplier suggestions included:

  • Use EDI whenever possible
  • Understand how an agency treats duplicate invoices
  • Ensure invoices include critical header details, especially estimate and order
  • Consider payment portals and accept electronic payments
  • Explore solutions that streamline/centralize transactions
  • Pick up the phone!

The event concluded with Frogel’s thoughts on the future and Q&A from the audience.  

“I learned a lot about collaborative relationships between agencies and suppliers when I was a COO/CFO of an agency. It starts with willingness to change and considering industry platforms that will deliver greater efficiency and reduce friction for both parties,” said Frogel.

Special thanks to our friends at the BCCA… the media industry’s credit association for hosting this webinar. A full recording of the webinar can be viewed here.

FastPay Names Michael Wehner as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Payments

Media Industry Veteran to Define Payments Portfolio Go-to-Market Strategy and Drive Innovation

Michael Wehner SVP Payments

FastPay announced today that Michael Wehner has joined the company as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Payments. In this position, Wehner will have responsibility for FastPay’s payments portfolio, including managing sales, development, and growth, and overseeing expansion of solutions for media agencies and suppliers. He will be responsible for defining the payments go-to-market strategy and driving innovation through strategic customer engagements. Wehner began his new position as a member of the executive team in December, reporting to Jed Simon, CEO and Founder of FastPay.

Wehner joins FastPay from the Rubicon Project, a digital advertising infrastructure company, where he was Senior Vice President of Agency & Brand Sales. At the Rubicon Project, Wehner was responsible for building out the agency’s strategy and global team, while working closely with global buying partners. Prior to Rubicon, Wehner worked at Microsoft where he led the global strategy for Media & Entertainment, before moving to the company’s advertising division. Before then, Wehner held sales leadership roles at IBM and Yahoo. With more than 20 years of sales and business development experience in digital media, Wehner has a track record for driving revenue growth by delivering integrated technology solutions to media companies.

“Michael brings significant media industry expertise to FastPay, which will support the rapid growth trajectory of our payments portfolio,” stated Simon. “He brings the ideal background needed to understand the complex, ever-evolving media landscape. We believe his proven track record will help expand FastPay’s payment solutions in meaningful ways for both agencies and media suppliers. His leadership skills will help accelerate and manage FastPay’s tremendous current growth and growth potential.”  

“FastPay’s market potential is virtually unlimited, and I’m looking forward to helping the company bring its innovative solutions to the media industry, so we can offer clients greater payment speed, accuracy, and control over their payment operations,” said Wehner. “Today, U.S. media payments total more than $200 billion annually. The FastPay platform delivers the ability to automate a significant portion of those payments, while giving media companies more productivity and the cost savings they need to remain competitive.”

Raised in Rochester, New York, Wehner now lives in New York City. He holds a BA degree in Computer Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Boom or Bust?  Marketing and Ad Tech Investment Dollars Projected to Fall 75% in 2019

According to a recent Forrester research report, investment dollars for marketing and ad tech startups are expected to fall 75% in 2019. This should come as no surprise in an industry that has seen tremendous growth in recent years from what seems like a never-ending stream of both advertising dollars and rounds of capital from hungry investors across the globe.

Marketing and ad tech consolidation is happening every day as larger media, tech companies, and agencies acquire new platforms and niche companies from across the ecosystem to bring order in the still overwhelmingly complex ecosystem. Ultimately, these companies are trying to help marketers reach the right customer, at the right time, and across any device with the ability to measure the impact. Terms like AI, VR, and blockchain have replaced big data, omnichannel, programmatic, and native as the new buzzwords helping some gain an edge over others.

Companies with proven technology, established revenue streams, and sound business strategies will continue to thrive despite fewer investment dollars. Other startups may have joined the party too late, already burned through several rounds of funding, or shifted their business strategies and are destined to become footnotes of history in one of the most booming sectors since the dotcom craze.

While the marketplace will ultimately pick the winners and losers, FastPay continues to provide capital for media and tech companies with proven business models.

FastPay recently partnered with ad tech platform, VideoAmp, because of their unique offering and position in the market. According to VideoAmp CFO, Tom Schmitt, “Our partnership with FastPay allows us to accelerate our investment in strategic elements of our business and gain market share in a dynamic environment. With FastPay, we’re able to double-down on our product investment, making our customers and investors incredibly successful.”

FastPay has multiple lending sources to help inject capital, while not diluting equity investments for clients. “Our rich analytics and deep industry expertise allow us to provide our clients more capital than banks and generic providers. Unlike traditional lenders who are becoming more and more conservative, we continue to lean into the industry and not shy away from it,” stated Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Origination and Business Development.  

As the marketplace continues to mature, FastPay’s collective experience and network of industry relationships will continue to help clients navigate media and tech’s complex financial ecosystem.