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 Joins Forces With AccountAbility

FastPay is pleased to announce our recent partnership with AccountAbility, Strata’s preferred accounting system integration. This end-to-end media buying and payment solution will now allow payments to flow directly from AccountAbility into FastPay Political.

“The decision to partner with AccountAbility was a no-brainer,” said Theresa Contario, VP of Political Payments at FastPay. “As the leading integrated project management and financial system designed for marketing agencies, AccountAbility can increase efficiency for all of our political agency clients and make their lives a little easier in the upcoming Presidential election.” 

AccountAbility is the leading all-in-one agency ERP solution, created by agency CFOs, to provide users with a complete and modern API toolset. Unlike other problematic and manual flat-file integrations, this platform provides a true end-to-end experience that is tailored to suit the media world. “With the added complexities of pre-payment in the political media buying process, this end-to-end experience is instrumental for our clients,” said Contario.  

“Our solution is all about visibility, scalability, and mobility for agencies anywhere in the world. By partnering with FastPay we’re able to further our mission and provide customers with an all-inclusive experience that solves for the unique financial management and reporting needs of the media,” said Terry McMillan, Founder & CEO of AccountAbility. 

Additionally, this integration will sync vendors in the AccountAbility system with the FastPay proprietary vendor database to provide clients with the optimal supplier acceptance that ultimately impacts agency returns. 

For more information about becoming a FastPay partner, please contact Kara Dion,  kara.dion@gofastpay.com 

 

FastPay Joins PayPod to Discuss The World of Media Payments

media payments podcast

David Frogel, FastPay Chief Strategy Officer, recently joined PayPod host, Scott Hawksworth, to discuss the world of media payments and its impact on the overall media ecosystem today. With topics ranging from cryptocurrency in payments to the future of payments within the next 12-24 months, nothing is off-limits in this podcast by Soar Payments.

The current state of the union is no surprise to many agencies and suppliers as delayed payments have been a source of friction for years, but as Frogel points out, it’s only getting worse with time. In a competitive landscape where some of the largest advertisers are paying net 120-150, suppliers are left wondering why they’re getting paid so late.

“I spent my career working with entrepreneurs and as an entrepreneur in tech and media companies. I was the CFO of a media buying agency for about 7 years and witnessed a lot of friction between agencies and suppliers,” said Frogel. “Delayed payments and long aging on the books of media suppliers have been pain points for years, but that problem has really escalated in the last couple of years. The supply chain is feeling real pressure.”

What is the underlying cause of payment delays? According to Frogel, delays can be attributed to lengthening payment terms between advertisers and agencies, process friction having to deal with reconciliation in media, and the lack of motivation for agencies to pay faster. Adding further tension, all political ad buys have to be prepaid in order for an ad to run as scheduled. 

“Payment speed is critical because every day you need cash to run your business, especially when it’s already taken months to get paid, counts. So for years, we’ve focused on making it easier for agencies to make the payments. Slow payments have now reached a fever pitch so what we’ve done is brought on new tools and a new solution that gets suppliers paid on fixed terms like net 60 without using a traditional credit or factoring facility.” 

Equally as important as speed when sending payments, security and privacy are also vital, especially when handling millions of dollars in electronic payments. FastPay has heavily invested in identity management and security infrastructure over the years to ensure complete protection for clients’ most vulnerable data. “To this day, we’ve never seen any chargebacks or fraud on the cards that we’ve been responsible for and it’s been ten years now. I can’t say that will never happen but there are so many protocols built into the payments and lockdowns that prevent fraud from occurring.”

Whether it’s payment speed or data security, FastPay continues to meet the needs of an ever-evolving media industry. It’s an exciting time for the payments world as fintech continues to innovate and solve some major pain points. Make sure to keep an eye out for upcoming updates and progress along the way! 

Check out the entire podcast below.

FastPay Attends TVB Forward 2019

Overlooking the water from Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers NYC, senior decision-makers gathered last week to discuss the current opportunities and challenges facing broadcast television across every screen at TVB’s Forward Conference. The action-packed day covered topics around automation, political predictions for 2020, and visions for 2025 and beyond.

As a sponsor of this year’s conference, FastPay had the opportunity to contribute to the conversation around automation with FastPay Network. “The consensus throughout the conference was the need to streamline buys with agencies and digitize the last mile of payments. Similar to the findings from our Forrester study on payment technology, both suppliers and agencies are looking to speed up the payment process by automating invoices. We’re excited to see how FastPay Network will help increase efficiency across the media ecosystem by reinventing the payment process for the digital age,” said Larry Shiels, VP of Supplier Development for FastPay Network.

When asked about the future of local broadcast TV in a packed panel, Jordan Wertlieb, the President of Hearst TV, predicted more selling time and better interpersonal relationships with the use of automation and machine learning by 2025. “I hope we’re leaving behind the discussion about the difficulties of buying local TV.”

In addition, discussions surrounding the upcoming 2020 election and the financial boost it will have on local TV proved to be a popular subject amongst attendees. The political super session ranged from “fake news” to the power of politics as a major revenue stream for broadcasters.

According to Kantar Media, $34M in local broadcast TV ads have already been booked for the 2020 election cycle with estimates for the most competitive local TV spending markets to include Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and even Des Moines, Iowa and Lansing, Michigan. Greta Van Susteren, National Political Analyst from Gray Television, reported telling the TVB Forward crowd that the real winners in the 2020 election will be the ad sales folks from local broadcasters.

“It was great to see political media as a cornerstone topic for the conference. As Kantar pointed out during the conference, 2020 spending projections are predicted to be $6B in total and over $3B on broadcast alone. This figure is almost double the money spent on broadcast during the 2016 cycle so we can expect to see more political agencies utilize payment automation and technology to scale operations,” said Theresa Contario, VP of Political Payments at FastPay.

Thank you to TVB Forward for hosting such a top-notch event. FastPay is excited to be a part of this transformational time in local broadcast television as the advertising community works together to solve for the industry’s toughest challenges.

Debt vs. Equity Financing: What’s Best for your Business?

While capital is a necessary component for most businesses to scale and grow to the next phase, there are many factors to consider. Debt and equity financing each have their pros and cons, but the best option truly depends on your current needs and stage of business. 

If you need a refresher, debt financing entails borrowing a fixed amount from a lender which is then paid back with interest. The different types generally include secured lines of credit, term loans, credit cards, and invoice/receivable financing, among others. Debt is a great option when you want to maintain control and ownership over your business. In many cases, interest payments are tax-deductible, leaving your business with more money in the end. 

On the other hand, equity financing involves an investor purchasing a percentage of the business in exchange for capital. Equity is perfect for start-up businesses that need money to scale. However, a big exit or IPO can be a complicated process involving investor voting rights. If a founder’s vision doesn’t align with stakeholders, this can be a major source of conflict.

At a FastPay roundtable event, attendee Lori Murphree of Diamond Capital Advisors shared that “debt is cheaper at the end of the day, most people don’t realize that. If you’re going to sell your company for hundreds of millions of dollars, do the math!” She also mentioned, “you always want an AR lender that you can use for working capital. If you are going to raise equity, try to raise some debt to go with it.”

“At FastPay, we encourage companies to think of equity as a vehicle for long-term strategic growth and debt as working capital for operational needs,” said Caroline Zager, Associate of Business Development at FastPay.

The choice is ultimately dependent on the goals of your organization and what type of financial backing is needed to achieve them. If your company is new and full of growth potential, then equity may be the best option. If you’re a more established company in search of working capital, debt could be a better solution for your business. However, it’s best to reach a balance between the two to maximize financial growth and return.

FastPay Partners with AIG to Launch Rated Media Finance Vehicle

FastPay is excited to announce our recent partnership with American International Group, Inc. (AIG) to bring significant capital to the media and technology sector with a receivables securitization program. This facility will open the door for larger, global media and tech clients to access working capital backed by their trade accounts receivable. 

“Digital media companies continue to innovate and evolve technologies to increase ROI for their customers.  This requires substantial investment and access to multiple capital sources to stay competitive,” said Secil Baysal, President and COO of FastPay. “We are pleased to partner with AIG, a company with a rich history and strong track record in trade insurance and investment management, which makes it a good fit for FastPay and our clients.” 

Available immediately, enterprise companies can secure $80M+ in working capital within a structure custom-built to meet the needs of the media industry. As the only working capital solution designed for the media industry, we understand the unique pain points digital media companies are facing daily. This partnership will allow our clients to scale and grow their business without the hassle of big banks requiring covenants, warrants, and onerous restrictions. 

“Companies throughout the advertising industry are plagued by capital providers that penalize them for having slow-paying customers, even when those customers are marquee brand names,” said Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Business Development and Origination at FastPay. “Many capital providers also burden these companies with onerous and thoughtless covenants. At FastPay, we take a different approach. We work with our customers to develop a deeper understanding of their capital needs and find creative solutions that other capital providers may ignore. I’m proud of what FastPay has created and I’m excited about the possibilities to come from our partnership with AIG.”

According to a report by PWC, 82% of traditional financial organizations plan to increase collaboration with fintech companies in the next three to five years. This partnership is just one of the many that we can expect to see. The first tranche of our fund with AIG is nearly filled so if your company is interested in applying, contact us here.

FastPay Political Brings the Heat to Philly

 

As political debates heat up, we thought it was more than appropriate to sponsor the AAPC Mid-Atlantic and FastPay happy hour at Ladder 15 – a restored Philadelphia fire station turned bar and restaurant. It was a fitting setting for those that often find themselves putting out political fires for a living.

The venue was decked out in patriotic decorations, with American flag balloons arranged from top to bottom. Adding to the All-American theme, we catered cheesesteaks and pretzels because when in Philly, how could we not? Of course, there was also an open bar serving up some delicious beverages for everyone to sip on and talk shop in our nation’s first capital.

“It’s always a pleasure to partner with our friends at the AAPC Mid-Atlantic chapter to bring together agencies, media publishers, rep firms, and other industry participants. We were just lucky enough to host it in a city with such rich political history as the backdrop,” said Theresa Mueller, VP of Payment Sales at FastPay.

“I really enjoyed hearing about plans for the 2020 cycle and the buying activity that is already occurring,”  said Brendan Kelleher, Relationship Manager at FastPay.

Everyone has thoughts about how the 2020 cycle will shake out, but it seems that one thing is for sure— it will be a wild ride. The AAPC were gracious hosts, and the rich American history of Philadelphia made the perfect location to host the Mid-Atlantic chapter meet-up!

9thWonder Scales Operations

FastPay Helps 9thWonder Scale Operations

9thWonder is a full-service strategic marketing and advertising agency that operates across seven offices worldwide. Over the past few years, they have experienced rapid growth, averaging one acquisition a year and reaching nearly 250 employees. With such quick expansion, they witnessed an increase in media spend and faster-paced operations. As a result, the 9thWonder finance team experienced thousands of invoices that varied in payment method and constantly shifting terms. 

CFO of 9thWonder, Breck Templeton acknowledged that they needed more support. “The previous provider that we had was already in place, but they weren’t doing a good job at all. So I jumped in with both feet, and learned what was happening, and got involved in the process. We eventually decided to bid the business out, and when we looked at FastPay and a couple of their competitors, it was an easy choice.” 

Leveraging proprietary data from 60,000+ media suppliers and buyers, FastPay was able to capture additional spend with 532 new suppliers while optimizing the payment process along the way. FastPay’s automated payment technology saved 9thWonder nearly 400 hours that otherwise would have been spent manually entering payments into supplier portals. 

Additionally, FastPay’s 24/7 customer support team monitors all supplier payments and follows up directly to ensure processing. Breck Templeton, CFO of 9thWonder noted, “The service element is very important to me, and FastPay really understands service. They deliver on what they say and are available when we need them. I can trust FastPay as a partner.”

Following their transition to FastPay, 9thWonder has experienced the highest payment throughput, revenue share, and invoice approval in their history. But they’re not the only ones, check out more case studies here and find out why other top media agencies rely on FastPay.

Thank you to 9thWonder for being such a great partner!

FastPay Takes a Swing at TopGolf

Last week, FastPay invited a few clients to tee off at the D.C. area TopGolf for a night of friendly competition. Although the weather consisted of torrential downpours, it had nothing against our covered bays, hot buffets, and white-glove drink service.

“With things heating back up in the political world, this event provided the perfect escape for folks to spend time together and get out on the range. It’s always a pleasure connecting with our clients and seeing what they’ve been up to recently. I’m looking forward to our next event in August – a rooftop happy hour in D.C.,” said Theresa Contario, FastPay VP of Political Sales.        

FastPay Relationship Manager and in-house golf expert, Brendan Kelleher, spent the night giving out free lessons, explaining “I had so much fun sharing my love of golf with our clients and getting to know them in such a casual and interactive environment.”

Unlike in real golf, there were a few high-scoring winners at the end of the night. We awarded them with medals they could take home and display proudly next to their high-school sports accolades.

Winning aside, everyone had a great time showing off their golf swings and mingling with the best of the best within the political media space in D.C. We look forward to hosting another Top Golf event in the future after working on our golf game.

FastPay + Tubefilter Take on VidCon 2019

Nearly 80,000 people made their way out to Anaheim last week for the biggest event in the online video community— VidCon. Fans, creators, executives, and brands came together for four days of live performances and interactive experiences to celebrate all that is digital media, including a bowling event held by FastPay and Tubefilter.

Fastpay and Tubefilter hosted more than 30 clients, colleagues, and creators at Bowlmor, bringing together key players across the media landscape to share a few rounds of bowling, drinks, and good eats. 

“Since schedules are packed with panels, performances, and chats, we wanted to give creators and executives a getaway from the craziness of VidCon. We saw the Bowlmor event as the perfect opportunity to create a VIP lounge experience for attendees to mingle with other industry players while getting away from the action,” said Caroline Zager, Associate of Business Development at FastPay.

An event that brings together this many people in the online video industry is rare, and it was important to take advantage of the opportunity. The night allowed executives to see the passion creatives bring to their work and was a perfect environment to connect and collaborate. 

“We’ve been financing content creators and influencers in this space for 10 years so it was great seeing how our clients have grown and how many new faces are in the market,” explained Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Business Development and Origination at FastPay.