Electronic Invoices up by 15% Percent, Electronic Payment Acceptance up by an Average of 42%
FALLS CHURCH, VA., June 30, 2020 – Suppliers serving real estate companies have forgone paper invoices and checks, and substantially increased their adoption of electronic delivery methods during this pandemic, according to a new study by Nexus, the leading AP automation company for real estate.
During the months of March, April, and May 2020, suppliers increased their usage of NexusConnect, an online portal to submit invoices to buyers by 15 percent, even while purchasing shrank precipitously.
They also increased their acceptance of electronic payment methods – Nexus virtual cards in particular – by an average of 42% a month for each of the three months, compared to the same months in 2019.
“We are seeing a real transformation in supplier behavior,” said Jennifer Coolidge, Nexus president and head of the supplier program.
She noted several factors are at work:
- Working from Home: Suppliers, like buyers, are working from home, and they don’t want to – or can’t – go into the office to send invoices/receive checks.
- Cash Flow Concerns: Many buyers are not able to cut checks every week, but they are able to submit electronic payments every week (or even more frequently if need be). So suppliers have opted for electronic methods, like virtual cards, in order to get paid. In fact, many have become “network acceptors” to receive virtual cards for all their payments.
- Greater Visibility: Electronic delivery offers real-time visibility/transparency that paper methods simply can’t provide because of mail float.
This uptick in digital invoices and payments came at the time the country’s economy contracted significantly and purchasing was down overall.
Real estate has been no exception. For example, electronic purchase orders issued through the Nexus platform were down 77% for make-ready purchases (paint, carpet, and other purchases to make units ready for the next tenant) for the period of March-May 2020, compared to the prior year.
Coolidge said a lot of suppliers shifted their invoice submissions to NexusConnect because the portal provides guaranteed invoice delivery – which they don’t enjoy with the U.S. mail service. It also provides suppliers with real time status about whether invoices have been received, approved, paid, or rejected.
“Online visibility is exceptionally important in times like these, since there’s often no one in the office to take a call,” she said.
In addition, suppliers opted for electronic virtual cards, over receiving paper checks, as part of the NexusPayments program, wherein Nexus pays suppliers on behalf of its clients.
Nexus data shows that monthly acceptance rates of virtual cards went up 56% in March, 38% in April, and 45% in May, compared to the prior year.
While the terms of Nexus virtual cards didn’t change, more suppliers opted into them because they wanted guaranteed funds, greater security, and faster payment, said Director of Supplier Solutions Lisa Hills.
The Nexus AP automation platform is designed specifically for real estate companies, which need to process high volumes of invoices every month from a broad range of suppliers, from the one-person landscaping company to the multi-billion-dollar retail store.
With just a few clicks, Nexus customers can upload invoices, compare them to budget, route them to approvers, and then submit them for payment. They can also authorize Nexus to pay their suppliers with virtual card, ACH, or check.
Suppliers, meanwhile, can use Nexus to connect to their buyers and transact with them securely, all with unparalleled visibility into their transactions.
One in five of the world’s largest real estate companies use the Nexus AP automation platform to automate accounts payable and control their spend.
With Nexus Procure-to-Pay software, real estate companies can manage every aspect of the accounts payable process – from purchase through payments – with just a few clicks. The web-based platform automates manual AP tasks and provides complete visibility into suppliers, budgets, and spend. No more paper, wasted time, nor guesswork. Nexus makes it easy to maintain and expand the supplier relationships at the heart of the real estate business. Visit http://www.Nexussystems.com.