Payments operations

Consistently we see companies in the B2B SaaS space coming up against similar problems with their payments operations:

  • You have multiple bank accounts, with many currencies across different business entities, requiring you to log into multiple different portals to understand your cash position.
  • You offer different payments methods for your customers, with a mix of recurring and one-off payments, making reconciliation between bank accounts and payment providers time consuming.
  • Your payment process is not compliant enough, and you need to introduce controls and user role-based permissions into the approvals flow.
  • You need to ensure that every payment is accounted for in your accounting platform.

As businesses scale, they often have numerous data sources to reconcile. You want to track each stage of the payment:

  1. Initiating a payment;
  2. Setting up approval processes;
  3. Tracking and mapping funds with their customers;
  4. Resolving payment returns and failures;
  5. Reconciling and reporting transactions.

The key question is whether to buy or build this capability in-house. Ultimately it depends on whether it is worth it to take resources away from your core capability to build bespoke tooling.

Signs that it’s time to buy vs. build

There are a number of common indicators that suggest you need to upgrade your payments operations capability:

  • You’re hiring for operations roles to deal with tracking transactions
  • You are hiring engineers to manage EBICs, CSVs, or XML files or SFTP integrations
  • There’s an operational risk around the system of spreadsheets you’ve built to manage your payment operations
  • You are feeling trapped by the payments service providers you have (inflexible costs and UX), but are concerned about how you will reconcile multiple payments providers against your bank accounts
  • You have limited oversight of the cash you hold across the business, but it’s not worth investing in an expensive and clunky treasury solution
  • You have multiple banks and wallet providers to receive payments in many different currencies, but it’s tricky to aggregate the different sources

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