MineralTree introduced a white-label payment automation platform for banks in 2010. Initiated as a bill-pay solution, the product evolved into a complete, end-to-end accounts payable (AP) automation solution for businesses covering the entire billing process – from invoice receipt to outbound payment. Today, the Cambridge, Mass.-based firm employs over 100 staff and works closely with partner banks and financial institutions. In addition, MineralTree sells directly to middle-market businesses. The company's portfolio consists of more than 1,500 enterprises and nearly 30 financial institutions, the company reported.
Micah Remley, CEO at MineralTree, noted that business-to-business processes have been slow to adopt electronic methods, and companies haven't been in a rush to change. "We are very much an industry niche, and still in the early stages of introducing AP automation to the market, which is less than 10 percent penetrated," he said. Remley views this as an opportunity and said the firm is "seeing momentum tick up" despite the fact that "the finance function has been a very old-school process and digitization is taking time."
According to Remley, MineralTree and its automated AP solutions are perfectly poised to help businesses easily cross this divide. On the reseller side, the solution is integrated into the rails of a number of banks and enterprise resource management (ERP) applications, enabling them to readily offer the solution to business clients. "We've focused on the more common ERPs in the market and also built technology allowing us to connect with more industry-specific applications," Remley said. He also believes linking to a company's system of record is paramount. "ERP systems are a key place for us to drive efficiency, because we have to get the information in and out of the finance system," he stated.
Remley also pointed out that MineralTree has incorporated innovative payment features. "The application also offers virtual card solutions that enable a business to accept direct payment without the burden of paying with a check," he said.
He has also observed that roughly 70 percent of payments are still done with a check in the mid-market sector, and MineralTree's virtual card product offers a digital alternative. "Virtual cards allow a business to issue one-time tokenized cards for a single use," he said.
Additionally, Remley noted the virtual card process exemplifies security. "Most corporations have a card program that allows them to pay for expenses, but the challenge is once they start giving people cards, they can give sensitive information to vendors," he said. "Virtual cards allow a company to integrate and remove this risk.
He emphasized that the other real security benefit is the segregation of all these duties. "Manual processes are subject to fraud, but with MineralTree, you don't have to worry because we segregate these functions and use dual-factor authentication," he said.
As current business processes are rapidly evolving, Remley feels MineralTree's technology is now, more than ever, in the right place and time. "Surprisingly, the finance function is one that is often the most reliant on in-office work and the one least prepared for the remote work scenarios unfolding around the world today," Remley said. "Manual invoice processing and generation, in-person approvals, signatures, and lots of paper still dominate many finance teams." This has prompted MineralTree to push more clients to virtual cards and provide more tools to more easily manage AP processes. "Working capital needs are very real in today's environment," Remley said.
He also confirmed that a new MineralTree design concept is in the works, as well as added artificial intelligence features to make the product even easier to use. MineralTree's vendor management functionality is being overhauled, as well.
"We are building out the network of vendors and including the terms in which they'll accept virtual cards," Remley stated, noting this feature provides business customers with added control over spending and affords them a better understanding of the companies in their network.
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Vice President, Sales