FastPay at AAPC Pollies in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The FastPay team was excited to sponsor and attend this year’s AAPC Pollies, the political consulting event of the year. This year’s ceremony was particularly special as it kicked off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, providing a bit of respite before midterm elections commence. Political consultants, media buyers, public affairs specialists, suppliers, industry leaders, and journalists came together to not only learn but started the week with a community impact project in the heart of San Juan.  

Attendees also participated in their choice of three FastPay led adventures including a walking tour of Old San Juan, a Ron del Barrilito Rum Tasting, and horseback riding in the El Yunque National Rainforest. The week ended with an opportunity for participants to recognize one another at the Pollies Award Ceremony. We are so proud of our FastPay customers who took home a total of 63 Pollies!   

 

 

With 2022 projected to yield the most expensive midterm election in history, FastPay is leading the way in revolutionizing political media payments. We’ve put together must-have platform enhancements for political agencies including seamless Strata integration, automated overnight checks, and support for payments to digital media suppliers. Learn more about how FastPay Political can streamline your media payment process today.  

FastPay at ANA AFM: Powering Your Payables

After two long years, we were a sponsor at ANA’s annual Advertising Financial Management Conference held in Orlando, Florida this past week. Nearly 300 attendees came together from across the country to listen to powerful perspectives on the ever-evolving media landscape and how organizations are maximizing their profits.  

Attendees stopped by our booth between sessions to learn about the increased efficiency that comes with using the FastPay platform. We discussed how FastPay ePay seamlessly automates and optimizes your accounts payables, for improved workflow and streamlined payments. FastPay ePay is an essential tool for those looking to modernize their AP department.  

 

 

We enjoyed connecting with and learning from key advertising financial stakeholders who are shaping the industry and are looking forward to more conferences to come!  

To learn more about how FastPay can improve payments for your company, contact our sales team at fastpaysales@avidxchange.com. 

Media Industry Trends: 5 Widespread Shifts Shaping Accounts Payable

This article was originally posted on the AvidXchange blog.

The advertising industry was hit hard by the pandemic, down more than $20 billion in 2020, according to Statista. After a swift recovery, it’s predicted to experience exponential growth in 2022. 

As ad spending continues to climb and media buying and advertising agencies take on more work, what does it mean for staff that handles the invoicing and payments? A lot of work. And, it demands long-overdue modernization of age-old processes to make it happen. 

We’re taking a look at the current state of AP in the media industry and how key industry trends are predicted to impact the way it manages invoicing and payments to better serve and grow their businesses in 2022.

 

1. Retention challenges and thin staffs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the media industry is projected to grow faster than the average of all industries, but growth isn’t coming easy. Since the start of the pandemic, the media world has been hit especially hard by hiring and retention challenges. 

Staffing isn’t a new challenge for media. It’s an industry that tends to employ young professionals who are notorious for job hopping. But, the Great Reshuffle has amplified concerns about how to keep prized talent and attract new people. The strain impacts nearly every role across agencies, from creative to those who handle accounts payables (AP) and payments. 

Heavy attrition and a competitive job market means that teams need to do more work with less. And, when people leave, they take with them knowledge, training, and processes that have to be re-taught to new hires, putting critical processes in jeopardy and additional strain on overflowing plates.  

Agencies are leaning heavily on technology to ensure valuable data stays with them and is easily accessible. They are also looking to create more streamlined, less time consuming processes for their often complex invoice and payment processes.

As hiring and retention challenges continue in 2022, it’s likely that agencies will ramp up their efforts to eliminate paper processes with automated solutions. Those automated AP solutions will help in securing younger talent who are more likely to choose a tech-savvy employer than one that still depends on paper and cumbersome processes. 

 

2. Continued embrace of end-to-end AP automation solutions

Many media agencies shifted to automated AP at the start of the pandemic, simply out of necessity. It was the only way they could ensure the bills got paid.  

Those who have started to automate reap numerous benefits, such as faster invoicing and better visibility, and AP pros have more time to spend on more strategic directives rather than shuffling paper.  

Some agencies have already invested in complete invoice to payment AP automation solutions. According to a B2B Advertising Report in PYMNTS, more than 68 percent of advertising firms are now using automated payments processes, seen as the last step of AP automation.  

That means nearly one-third of agencies are still using paper checks. Of those check users surveyed by Forrester, more than half have experienced late payments and manual errors, and 40 percent have even lost checks. These mistakes are costly: 30 percent have paid additional processing and material costs and 21 percent have had to cover additional labor costs.  

“The irony of paper check payments is that agencies can serve an ad to a target’s phone in nanoseconds, yet it can take months to get that ad paid,” said Rick Weir, vice president of marketing for FastPay.

According to a Forrester report, “as the volume of suppliers dramatically increases, many media companies are wasting valuable time and money on slow and error-prone payment processes.”

As hybrid work environments become the norm for many, agencies will more heavily depend on automation and complete adoption of AP functions is likely to rise.  

 

3. Reduced liability, simple payments powered by AP automation

One of the unique challenges for the media industry is sequential liability, a complex rule that says a company does not pay what they owe until they receive money that is owed to them for the same work. It’s complicated. Part of the headache is that a Net 30 vendor term can quickly become a Net 120, which can significantly strain cash flow.  

Automation can assist with the net scramble and ease complexities. Providers can offer more competitive credit terms and better reconciliation, and they provide succinct remittance data that makes it easier for agencies to manage the slew of invoices they receive from their complex network of partners and suppliers.  

Agencies who depend on an AP automation partner also have the advantage of not having to field status calls from vendors wanting to know when they’ll receive payment. Automation provides transparency and invoice visibility so those questions are easily answered, and often fielded by an agency’s automation provider. 

But, not all automation providers are equal and not all can handle the unique payment complexities in the media world. Industry players demand an AP automation provider who gets their intricacies.  

“Media companies often come to us because we integrate with their accounting systems and their media buying platforms. We understand their world because we specialize in it and all of our agency clients are paying the same set of suppliers. From historical payment data, we know how those suppliers prefer to get paid, down to the invoice nuance, and how our clients can monetize those payments.”

Theresa Contario, Vice President of Sales, FastPay

 

4. Enhanced cybersecurity measures

Because of the digital nature of their business, media companies are among the most likely targets of phishing campaigns—cybercrime that has soared since the start of the pandemic.  

AvidXchange media clients have reported a three to eight times increase in phishing attempts on media payments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firms victimized by cybercrime like phishing attacks and check fraud often turn to automation, looking to do what they realize they should have already done. Automating AP processes protects sensitive information, provides transparency and controls, and offers safer ePayments to help agencies reduce the risk of fraud.  

It also ensures compliance requirements are met and puts the diligence work on automation providers, rather than an agency having to handle it.  

In 2022, firms will likely lean heavily on their automated AP solutions to help ward off threats and ensure safety and compliance. Those who still depend on manual, paper-based processes will likely consider more robust cybersecurity another compelling reason to automate. 

 

5. Looming compliance challenges

There’s chatter around cutting-edge technologies like AI, robotics and machine learning. It’s happening among media AP teams at bigger agencies, and also at smaller firms that are bursting at the seams and looking for relief. It’s for good reason. Gartner estimates that next-level technologies can reduce operational costs by 30 percent, saving organizations across industries both money and time. 

In 2021, AP teams evolved from chatting about and Googling hyperautomation to calling their automation providers for insights and know-how. 

“We can now automate up to 92 percent of payments with AI and machine learning. It’s a game-changer, especially for smaller firms that were trying to manage payments through their corporate credit card with no reconciliation. AI saves incredible time, improves supplier relationships, and reduces the risk of error. The list of benefits goes on and on.”

Rick Weir, Vice President of Marketing, FastPay

It’s likely the adoption of the new technologies will continue to advance as AP teams get more up to speed about the value they can bring to their work and their organizations. They’ll continue to rely on their AP automation providers to lead the way.

 

Webinar: The Future of Media and Agency Operations

 

The disruption caused by COVID-19 across the media landscape has been sudden, dramatic, and is expected to have a lasting impact. Agencies, brands, and media suppliers are all feeling the impact both financially and operationally while working remotely. As businesses across the US slowly start to return to business as usual, what will this new world look like for advertising?

FastPay and 4As sat down with industry leaders from agencies across the country to discuss the financial and cultural impact of COVID-19 on the media and advertising industry, and what they’re doing to reposition themselves in the new normal.

FastPay Provides Business Continuity to Media Agencies and Suppliers Working Remotely

FastPay data shows 40% decrease in ad spending, 20% slowdown in payment timing (DSOs), accompanied by 3x increase in FastPay loan requests

LOS ANGELES, April 22 2020 — 

As the majority of the United States is asked to work remotely and practice social distancing, FastPay’s ePay, Capital, and FastPay Network solutions have helped media agencies and media suppliers continue to operate. ePay and FastPay Network are automating payments for agencies and suppliers who formerly relied on checks, while the Capital solution is arming media tech firms and publishers with access to liquidity they need to maintain business as usual. 

“In these uncertain times, we’re hearing from many agencies and media suppliers about the importance of payment automation to maintain business continuity.  Over the last thirty days, we’ve seen an increased need for capital across the ecosystem as companies look for additional sources of revenue. Thankfully, we’re in a position to help.” said Jed Simon CEO and Founder of FastPay. 

In the month of April alone, FastPay’s proprietary data revealed a 24% decline in payment volume and a 20% increase in payment delays. Requests for capital have surged by 277%. Media buying on a programmatic basis was down 40% according to FastPay’s payment data. The media organizations seeing the biggest negative impact are those that have relied too much on checks for too long and are struggling to work remotely. 

According to Zehnder Communications CFO Jeremy Hunnewell, “Working remotely has been an impetus for us to look at how we can move more of our processes from paper to digital. Our partnership with FastPay has been critical in how we pay our vendors quickly, securely and safely.”  

With shelter-in-place restrictions likely to continue, media companies responsible for informing and entertaining a quarantined public are rushing to apply more automation to their backend payment systems. FastPay predicts that this turn to automation is here to stay even as national restrictions are lifted and is proud to provide financial support to media businesses in this time of crisis. 

FastPay is a financial technology platform that reduces friction and unlocks capital for buyers and sellers across the media landscape. Since its inception in 2009, FastPay has secured the movement of more than $7B in capital providing access to hundreds of millions of dollars in deployable capital from partners including Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Oak HC/FT. Its leadership team brings decades of credit and payments experience from Green Dot Corporation, Capital One, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Skrill. Headquartered in Los Angeles, FastPay has offices in New York and Framingham, MA. For more information, please visit https://gofastpay.com/ .

Media and press inquiries, contact Kyle Mears at kyle.mears@gofastpay.com.

Fastpay Capital at Montgomery Summit 2020

Secil Baysal, President & COO, FastPay speaks with Jacki Karsh for MontyTV about our finance platform directed at the needs of the media industry at The Montgomery Summit 2020 presented by Macquarie.

FastPay At Home

Due to COVID-19, offices and businesses around the world have had to rethink their approach to business and office culture. Since we can’t physically be together to celebrate company milestones or even have the daily human interaction we are accustomed to – we’ve had to get creative! Here are a few ways that FastPay employees are staying productive at home:

 

Virtual Pilates: 

Once a week, FastPay employees have the option to join a virtual pilates class from the comfort of their living room. A certified Pilates instructor talks us through a 45 minute equipment-free exercise routine. Employees can also participate in a daily plank challenge that increases the hold time over 30 days, building up to a 5 minute plank!

 

Town Halls: 

Our weekly all hands meetings are led by our executive team and are designed to keep us informed on company and industry news updates.To reduce meeting fatigue and keep things light and fun, FastPay has enforced themed dress codes to our Town Halls like a tropical Hawaiian theme or most recently, a Hamptons White Party.

 

Here’s a quick list of a few other ways we boost morale and keep our employees connected: 

  • Baby Photo Contest
  • Sharing cooking recipes
  • Peer connections chats with colleagues
  • FastPay Cribs
  • Virtual Happy Hours

 

FastPay has also helped guide clients through the challenges associated with remote work and will continue being a resource as restrictions are (hopefully) gradually lifted.

 

FastPay’s Response to COVID-19

As we continue to monitor the spread and impact of COVID-19, we want to let you know that we have the proper infrastructure and processes in place to continue services without disruption. 

As of now, the Capital, Payments, and FastPay Network systems are seeing no interruptions or delays in uptime or processing. We have received no indication from our partners that there will be any changes in service that would impact our clients.

In light of recent developments and government recommendations, FastPay has taken the following steps to ensure business continuity:

  1. All FastPay teams and employees are currently working remotely and will continue to do so as long as local conditions dictate.  

  2. FastPay has system redundancy and geographic disbursement of teams across the country.

  3. Remote access for all of our platforms and financial systems continue operating with full capabilities. 

  4. Continued secure protection and privacy of all client data to be handled with the utmost care.

  5. Account managers are available to help answer any questions you may have regarding your business.

We understand the difficulties that some institutions are currently faced with in managing a rapid transition to remote work. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your account manager. FastPay is committed to providing quality assistance through this turbulent time.

Please make sure to check back periodically for updates. We appreciate your understanding and support.

5 Questions to Ask Your Payments Provider

5 questions to ask your payments provider

Many payment providers make lofty claims, but are they actually fulfilling their end of the bargain? Maybe you’ve heard that a higher rebate percentage equals more revenue share or that all payment technology is the same. These misleading statements aren’t only damaging to your forecast, but they also set unrealistic expectations for stakeholders in your AP department. FastPay has developed a guide to dispel some of these common misconceptions so you can guarantee your payment provider is delivering the results promised. Check out the 5 questions below to ask your payments provider.

1. How do you support supplier outreach and enrollment?

Agencies work with an expansive network of media suppliers which can make it overwhelming to track thousands of vendors and payment types at any given time. FastPay conducts a monthly analysis of your vendor files and proactively reaches out to any new suppliers so you don’t have to. With a dedicated media payments team, you can rely on consistent vendor outreach and enrollment, that remains strong throughout the course of the partnership.

2. Does your program offer revenue share guarantees?

Agencies receive revenue share based on the number of electronic payments processed. Using robust supplier data, FastPay can accurately forecast the revenue share for your agency so you can project how much you will earn from processing payments. FastPay is the only media payments provider that can guarantee the maximum amount of revenue share in the industry.

3. How many media suppliers are in your payment acceptance program?

Maximizing supplier acceptance requires a complete and up-to-date network of media suppliers especially with the constant changes across the media ecosystem. FastPay is the only media payments platform that stores and dynamically updates robust data on supplier ownership hierarchy, media type, and contact information, resulting in the highest payment acceptance rate in the industry.

4. How many of your media payments can be automated?

Many suppliers accept payments exclusively through their own web portals which is a painstaking task requiring agencies to manually enter credit card information for each payment. FastPay has proprietary technology that automates more than 85% of payments to these portals ensuring timely and accurate payments. Our integrated database of supplier conditions ensures that we find every possible credit card payment, every time.

5. Who handles your payment processing? 


When regularly managing millions of dollars every day, payment providers need a reliable and secure payment processing partner. FastPay partners with Comdata, the payment industry’s version of Amazon Web Services (AWS) for card issuing, to ensure product uptime and processing reliability for all clients. With more than $55B annually processed, Comdata is the only partner FastPay trusts.

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.