Running on Teamwork

Despite the prospect of looming thunderstorms and humid weather, eight dedicated runners from the FastPay Framingham office took on the 3.5-mile trek of the 43rd annual J.P Morgan Corporate Challenge race in Boston. Held across 13 cities, seven countries, and five continents, the Corporate Challenge is a global run inspired by the New York City marathon but modified to suit the training schedule for even the busiest corporate executive. 

For the past 35 years, The JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, Boston, has brought together employees from countless organizations to promote camaraderie, teamwork, and community engagement. This year’s race was made up of 365 teams and 6,729 individuals ranging from entry-level employees to CEO’s, all with the common goal of raising funds for The Every Child Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Named one of the top 100 charities in the US, The Every Child Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital has been the nonprofit of choice for three consecutive years now. Every donation helps to fund research and provide services insurance doesn’t cover so that families receive the compassionate care they need while caring for a sick child. 

“We had a blast participating in this year’s run. It was the perfect opportunity for us to get together as a team while also supporting a worthy cause, ” said Colleen Grogan, Relationship Manager at FastPay.

Congrats to our very own Jan Beckwith (Accounting Manager) and John Rumney (Operations Analyst), the first finishers on the FastPay team. Win or lose, everyone had a great time giving it their all for a great cause and making memories with their FastPay friends.

Considering the global scale of the Corporate Challenge, don’t be surprised if you see the London and San Francisco offices taking part in the 2020 run!

FastPay Welcomes Larry Shiels as Vice President of Supplier Development

FastPay welcomes Larry Shiels as our Vice President of Supplier Development for FastPay Network, the only platform linking suppliers and agencies for the purposes of streamlining and expediting media payments. With the introduction of FastPay Network earlier this month, Larry will lead the charge to reduce inefficiencies and ensure that suppliers are paid on their terms. 

Larry comes to FastPay from  WideOrbit, where he spent 8 years developing strategic partnerships with agencies, brands, holding companies, television broadcasters, and media suppliers. Prior to his time at WideOrbit, he served as the Sales Director at Mediaocean. His extensive experience and industry knowledge is an invaluable resource to our team as we continue to build the relationships necessary to grow FastPay Network.

“We’re thrilled to have Larry onboard as the newest member of our executive team,” said Michael Wehner, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Payments. “With over 20 years of experience selling enterprise software to media buyers and sellers, Larry understands, firsthand, the complexities of the media ecosystem. He has the leadership experience and proven track record in pursuing growth opportunities and developing relationships with C-level executives, which is exactly what we need as we go to market with FastPay Network.”

Larry currently lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife and three children where he spends weekends sailing his Catalina 22 sailboat on the Hudson River. When asked why he joined FastPay, Larry said, “FastPay Network solves for the media industry’s most talked-about challenge: knowing how and when you’re going to get paid and the visibility around that process. By bridging the gap between suppliers and agencies with faster payments, an automated workflow, and reduced costs, we’re able to reduce friction across the entirety of the media landscape. This is something no company has ever taken on before, so it’s an exciting time to be joining.” 

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.

Connecting the Dots at Programmatic I/O

Last week, more than 1,200 people from around the world gathered in San Francisco to connect for the Bay Area’s biggest ad tech conference, Programmatic I/O. Known as the go-to conference for digital marketing executives from top brands, advertising agencies, and publishers FastPay was thrilled to be a part of this year’s festivities.

Hosting an exclusive dinner for more than 30 clients and colleagues at the renowned Per Diem restaurant, we brought key players together from across the media landscape for a night of delicious food, drinks, and meaningful conversation around the current state of ad-tech.  

“After a long learning day at Programmatic I/O, we wanted to give clients a relaxing space where they could discuss the shifting media landscape while getting to know other players in the ad-tech space. It was awesome to see people making connections and sharing perspectives from various backgrounds,” said Daniel Guthorn, Business Development Manager at FastPay.  

Creating authentic connections is one of the biggest challenges in business but even more difficult is building connections with the right people. This evening allowed our clients to meet with other industry leaders that they normally wouldn’t have the chance to connect with.

“More than just a financing partner, we’re a strategic partner that brings the right people together to develop authentic connections and drive business for our partners. Our knowledge in the space allows clients to leverage our network to build-out business and create new opportunities. We’re always looking for ways to connect the dots so our clients don’t have to,” said Maytal Shainberg, SVP of Business Development and Origination at FastPay.

Looking Back at the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference

Every year, hundreds of media finance professionals come together to discuss emerging issues, benchmark best practices, and network with like minds at the ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference. With so many recent developments and conversations around the media ecosystem, this year was especially notable. Panels ranged from fraud in digital advertising and supplier diversity to the development of in-house agencies and navigating what’s next in an explosive media universe.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult to dive deeper into some of these notable topics in just a few days. That’s why we hosted a private dining experience for FastPay clients, friends, and partners to continue the conversation outside of the hustle and bustle. Hosted at celebrity chef Michael Mina’s restaurant Bourbon Steak, invitees had the opportunity to connect 1:1 while enjoying a 3-course meal, craft cocktails, and hand-rolled cigars.

“The ANA AFM Conference is one of the few conferences that include both media and finance professionals so we wanted to utilize this time to facilitate meaningful conversation and learn directly from our client’s experiences. It was a great opportunity to alleviate some concerns and discover ways we can better adapt and support industry professionals,” said Rich Rosenzweig, East Coast Regional Director at FastPay.

As a longstanding sponsor of the ANA AFM, we were happy to be a part of this year’s discussions. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to see us! We hope to see you again next year.

      

What’s in your political tech stack?

FastPay recently facilitated a roundtable discussion titled “The Political Tech Stack” at this year’s Campaign Tech East in Washington D.C. With so many technology providers in the market, we wanted to gain a better understanding of the products and features agency leaders look for in a partner, so we brought together a group of political media experts to discuss their key components for a tech stack.

Moderated by Theresa Mueller, VP of Political Payments at FastPay, we examined some of the most sophisticated political campaigns to discover how agencies are leveraging modern technology to accelerate their operations. Not surprisingly, agency leaders prioritized the following in their go-to tech solutions: easy integration, trusted customer service, extensive data, and remote accessibility.

With many agencies still relying on legacy systems, integration is one of the biggest considerations when adopting new technology. If systems are non-compatible or have a multitude of layers, departments can be left dealing with various platforms and logins that only hinder efficiency. It’s important to make sure your tech stack is adapted to flex and grow with new demands. Does it connect with my current Quickbooks? Is there technical support or onboarding? These are just some of the questions experts recommend looking into.

Whether a campaign is in the planning process or execution phase, efficiency is critical every step of the way and the right technology is key to success. Check out this interview with Theresa and C&E’s Shane Greer and learn how you can drive greater efficiency with your tech stack.

Reducing costs and making campaigns more efficient with electronic payments.

Reducing costs and making campaigns more efficient with electronic payments. Theresa Mueller of FastPay chats with C&E's Shane Greer.Partner video with FastPay

Posted by Campaigns & Elections on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

FastPay Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the AAPC Pollie Awards

  

Over 700 people gathered in Napa Valley last week for the 50th anniversary of the 2019 AAPC Pollie Awards & Conference.  With a commitment to helping leaders in political media, FastPay was a proud sponsor of the 40 Under 40 Awards ceremony and reception as well as the sold-out wine train excursion.

“It’s always a pleasure to spend time with our clients and watch them win awards. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by taking in views along the Napa vineyards with a glass of wine!” said Theresa Mueller, VP of Political Payments at FastPay.

It wasn’t all about the wine and chocolate though, the days were jam-packed with panel discussions and insights from top leaders such as Joanna Burgos of OnMessage Inc. Burgos moderated a panel around women consultants in the workplace and national conversations happening around #metoo, as well as how women candidates have different campaign obstacles to overcome.

Other panel discussions explored the political industry’s off-year cash crunch, sustainable ways of reducing overhead, and the best TV advertising strategies of today. Not surprisingly, data shows that TV continues to be the lead media channel to drive voter awareness but the stakes are high as new digital and targeted strategies are introduced across the industry.

“As TV broadcast remains the dominant platform for reaching voters, it will be interesting to see how political campaigns evolve in such a competitive market to reach divided audiences, especially in the coveted 2020 cycle. We’re just excited to be a part of all of it,” says Rick Weir, VP of Marketing at FastPay.

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.”

 

Making Moves at the Montgomery Summit

FastPay joined thousands of entrepreneurs, senior investors, and leading executives last week at the Montgomery Summit to discuss business strategy, market positioning, and innovations in the tech landscape. During this exclusive two-day event, panels and discussions ranged from the advancements in AI to the future of venture capital, with a featured presentation by FastPay’s President and COO, Secil Baysal.

“It was an honor to speak at this year’s summit alongside industry leaders from around the world. It’s not every day you have the opportunity for candid conversations about the challenges and opportunities fintech businesses face today,” said Secil.

In his 20-minute panel, Secil took a deep dive into the world of media and finance to discuss the investments in consumer-facing technology and their implications on back-end developments. While the rapid growth in technology has led to some amazing innovations, if you take a closer look at what’s happening behind the curtain you’ll discover outdated software and back-end technology that is impacting the consumer experience.

“We’ve seen digital transformation throughout the media industry in forms of AR/VR, yet AP departments are still running off of checks and payment terms ranging from 120 days up to 155 days. We can send something to the moon quicker than we can send a payment through ACH or check,” said Secil.

Those in the media industry can all relate to this challenge but it’s an important reminder that technology shouldn’t always be taken at face value, and the Montgomery Summit was just the place for this discussion. Check out a recap from Macquarie here