London 21st April 2020
Optal, a world leader in optimising B2B transactions, today celebrates its one-year anniversary of a multi-year partnership with Wowcher that has enabled the leading deals site to drive significant business value from automated supplier payments.
Wowcher is a leading marketplace for the best things to do in your city. Wowcher provide a trusted, convenient source for finding value on everyday items and activities as well as identifying novel, enriching and fun experiences for you to enjoy and share with your friends. With thousands of unique and diverse offers every day, they inspire their subscribers to discover everything from weekend excursions to international travel, from exclusive gourmet dinners to family outings and more.
Given the huge breadth of businesses it partners with to deliver these deals to customers, the firm has a large network of suppliers that need to be paid accurately and on time.
However, legacy payments like cheques and BACS transfers can introduce manual errors and delays for finance departments.
Traditional methods of payment could also expose buy-side organisations to extra risk. For example, they need to store payee details on file, which presents an attractive target for cyber-criminals, while cheques could be lost or stolen in transit. Then there’s the task of obtaining funds back when services aren’t delivered or are delivered sub-standard – chargeback overcomes this challenge and provides greater levels of payment control to Wowcher should funds need to be retrieved.
Wowcher chose Optal’s Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) solution to overcome these challenges by automating its supplier payment processes.
VANs are 16-digit, one-time virtual cards that can be used to pay suppliers in a fast, simple and secure manner with no need to store supplier payment details in advance.
Extra payment information can be added digitally to each transaction to streamline reconciliation, mitigate fraud risks and improve auditability.
“B2B payments have long been overlooked as a way to improve internal efficiencies and enhance key supplier relationships, but thanks to digital innovators like Optal, that’s changing,” said Optal CMO, Bradley Eccleshare. “We’re delighted to be driving success for yet another UK business. With supplier payments automated, the Wowcher finance team can focus on more important strategic tasks.”
Optal has been working with Wowcher since the summer of 2018, with the first virtual cards issued in December that year and then rolling out to suppliers in greater numbers throughout 2019.
Over that time, the two companies have worked closely to tweak the solution according to feedback from Wowcher — evolving functionality such as reporting and foreign currency billing.
“At Wowcher, we have a large ecosystem of suppliers, so finding a way to digitise and automate payments to them has been a huge win for us,” said Wowcher Finance Director, Paul Chambers. “This has also been a true partnership: Optal has demonstrated an understanding of our company, an attention to detail and a willingness to go the extra mile.”