Apruve Allies with Matrix to Reduce B2B Credit Risk

Apruve last week announced a strategic alliance with Matrix Payment Systems to create a turnkey solution to mitigate the risk of advancing a revolving line of credit to business customers.

Under the agreement, the companies will help businesses streamline the extension of credit with less financial risk and fewer back office overhead expenses.

“Apruve and Matrix have partnered to expand the reach of B2B payment solutions for distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers,” said Apruve CEO Michael Noble.

In the B2B space, most companies pay on terms — by using purchase orders or a standing line of credit, he told the E-Commerce Times. Some simply pay with credit cards.

Many companies have an accounts receivable department, and the process of accepting payments involves credit approval, invoicing, collections, cash applications and payment application.

The new relationship is the first Apruve has entered with an independent sales organization like Matrix, said Noble.

Both companies have dozens of customers that range from small firms up to the Fortune 500.

“Every touch reduces the profit margin of the order being managed,” Noble said.

Matrix will incorporate the Apruve product into its existing telemarketing process to existing and prospective clients, said CEO Glenn Hughes.

“Matrix provides electronic credit card and ACH processing services to the B2B industry via online payment gateways, e-commerce and standalone credit card terminals,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “This will be our first endeavor offering risk-free, revolving lines of credit, and we feel this product will help strengthen our overall product offering to the B2B industry.”

Apruve’s Platform

Apruve offers a cloud-based platform, built on Ruby on Rails, that is used to validate buyers and check out orders, Noble said. The system plugs into all common e-commerce platforms and uses an API to handle customer integrations.

Once a business buyer gets approval for a line of credit with its supplier, for example, Apruve issues a limit. The firm then can add as many buyers to the accounts as it wants to. When buyers go online to procure goods or services from their suppliers, they can use Apruve to check out instead of using a credit card.

“We validate their status and credit limit before sending a webhook to the e-commerce platform to trigger fulfillment,” Noble said.

The need for a solution that Apruve and Matrix agreed to is a longstanding industry problem, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

“In many cases, suppliers who know their customers willingly offer handshake agreements, but that can unnecessarily expose them to risk,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “Other alternatives include extending lines of credit and supporting purchase orders, both of which tend to be highly time-consuming and manual.”

Apruve intends to leverage Matrix’s payment processing ISO to speed application and approval processes for revolving lines of credit, King said. That will allow Apruve to pursue deals more quickly and efficiently, thus increasing customer satisfaction and possibly opening up additional business opportunities.

“Anything that slows down the sales process kills sales,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“The longer a transaction takes, the more likely the buyer will lose interest, find a different product, different vendor, or even a completely different solution, killing the sale,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Removing friction from the process results not only in closed deals, but also in happier and more loyal customers, Enderle said.

Angels on the Doorstep

Apruve claims to be one of the fastest-growing fintech startups in the U.S. The company last year received US$2.25 million in Series A funding from TTV Capital and Allegis Capital.

Apruve this spring entered a couple of key agreements with e-commerce firms.

One was with OroCommerce, which offers a B2B platform to help companies manage customer relationships. The OroCommerce platform is designed for companies that sell online to manage buyer-seller negotiations, multiple price lists, multiple and customized catalogs, and other aspects of online transactions.

Apruve also became an official partner of the IBM Websphere commerce platform. It helps companies with order management, marketing and offering enhanced buyer experiences, according to IBM, while also providing a secure cloud infrastructure.

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain's New York Business and The New York Times.

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