Your Guide to Optimizing NetSuite with Integrated Payments and AR Automation

Jul 7, 2022 by Sage Thee

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions have revolutionized how finance teams track payments, but these digital systems aren’t without their challenges. Namely, these systems tend to fall short when it comes to user experience and payment processing — that’s where integrations come in.

With more than 31,000 customers worldwide, NetSuite is one of the most popular ERPs for finance teams looking to streamline their accounting processes — and for good reason. NetSuite offers an array of features and integrations to improve billing and payments. But automated invoicing is just one piece of the puzzle, and doesn’t ensure your customers will pay on time.

In 2021, U.S. businesses suffered significantly, seeing a 47% deterioration in customer payment practices over the past year, with 50% of all B2B invoices overdue.

You’ve streamlined your invoicing process, sending out automated payment reminders with detailed information — yet you’re still dealing with a high volume of late payments. So what do you do now? You need an integrated payments platform designed to reduce processing costs, speed up collections, and even streamline the payment process for your customers.

Payments are changing

Payments were changing long before the Covid-19 Pandemic hit and companies had no choice but to replace essential, human-driven functions with digital alternatives practically overnight in order to survive. The pandemic overlapped with a new wave of cloud-based, data-driven, internet-connected technologies with the ability to transform the face of business as we know it, accelerating the digital revolution. Dire circumstances lead to innovation, and digital transformation initiatives are still going strong, with 68% of CFOs reporting plans to spend more on digital transformation in 2022.

So, what does this digital revolution mean for B2B payments? The pandemic showed us that digital alternatives are possible — for everything. And business clients now have increasingly high expectations for B2B transactions, looking for features like flexible payment options, intuitive interfaces, simple account setup, real-time payment processing, transparent and secure transactions, and mobile phone compatibility.

Your clients want their B2B payments to be as easy as their B2C payments, if not even easier. A recent study by Gartner found that 33% of buyers want a seller-free sales experience with the ability to make payments without any assistance or conversation with the merchant. Furthermore, Gartner expects that by 2025, 80% of all B2B sales will occur in digital channels.

With an increased demand for flexible, digital, and touchless payment options, offering only traditional payment methods (e.g., credit cards, ACH, paper checks, and cash) is not enough anymore. Your business needs a robust integrated payments platform that offers digital payment methods beyond simple wire transfers or ACH payments. Paystand’s Bank Network, for example, is a zero-fee payment rail covering 90% of the U.S. banking market that gives you access to real-time fund transfers and automated payment settlements. Every in-network payment is recorded on the Assurety blockchain, creating a notarized, immutable record that is secure, verified, and digitally auditable.

Payments may be changing rapidly, but Paystand is here to help you through the growing pains.

Picking the perfect payment app for NetSuite

The right SuiteApp payment integration can reduce your DSO by up to 70%, but finding it can feel overwhelming. It can be hard to juggle your traditional work duties on top of analyzing the options, scheduling demos, and reporting back to the team — so we’ve made a list of everything you need to know to choose the best NetSuite integration for your needs.

Today more than ever, accounting departments need a more efficient way to process AR while reducing touchpoints. And while some finance teams have already deviated from checks, credit card payments can still take too long, and you can get slammed with a hefty payment processing fee.

When looking for an automated billing solution to integrate with your NetSuite workflow, multiple payment options are critical — your suppliers will want to pay in the method most convenient for them, and you also want to be able to offer incentives for the payment methods your finance team prefers.

Your NetSuite integration is likely to be a long-term commitment, so it’s imperative that you get it right. When shopping for a payment solution, it’s important to look for a SuiteApp with a “Built for NetSuite” status — the gold standard for B2B payments applications. On your hunt for the best solution, here are some key questions to ask:

  • Does it provide a direct NetSuite integration, so I never have to leave my ERP dashboard?
  • Can I process all major credit and debit cards, ACH, and eCheck, while still offering zero-fee bank-to-bank payment options?
  • Can I access lower transaction fees with wholesale credit card processing rates?
  • Can I take keyed-in payments securely?
  • Are there built-in fee management controls?
  • Can it manage payments, collections, refunds, and disputes?
  • Can I easily request payments from customers?
  • Can I schedule one-time or recurring payments?
  • Can I send custom invoices, billing reminders, and sales orders?
  • Can it automate cash application, revenue recognition, reporting, and payment reconciliation?
  • Can I accept partial payments?
  • Can customers pay multiple invoices at one time?
  • Can I create branded checkout interfaces with payment option toggles?
  • Can I create custom collections plans?
  • Is there a sandbox mode to test customizations, plugins, and workflows?
  • Can I add subsidiaries and multiple entities?
  • Does it enable invoices on eCommerce stores?
  • Does it support multi-currency invoicing?
  • Does it provide PCI-DSS Level 1 compliance for data security?
  • Does it require minimal maintenance and manual effort?
  • Does it include fail-safes if a payer has insufficient funds in their bank account?
  • Will I have access to knowledgeable and accessible troubleshooting support and customer service?
  • Can I set up discounts and incentives for preferred and early payment methods?
  • Does it store customer payment data securely, preferably through tokenization?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to schedule some demos. New to demos, or just overwhelmed by the prospect? Don’t worry, because here at Paystand, we’re experts in demos, and we’ll walk you through the best practices to make the most of your time.

Making the most of your demo

To streamline the process, we recommend reducing your top NetSuite integrations choices down to three and then scheduling demos. Keep in mind that NetSuite integrations may require significant back-end updates and coding for your customized solution, so your demos might be more general.

Here are our top ten questions to ask:

  1. How can I access your AR features directly from NetSuite?
  2. What is the integration process like, and how long will it take?
  3. What does the customer see?
  4. How does your system work with audits and payment compliance?
  5. How often will your data sync with NetSuite?
  6. What happens if there is an error in receiving payments?
  7. What happens if my customer doesn’t have enough money in their bank account for a transfer?
  8. Does your integration have role permissions controls?
  9. Are there any incompatibilities with other NetSuite integrations?
  10. How is customer data kept secure?

Most importantly, make sure you ask any questions that may arise during your demo. There is no such thing as a stupid question, especially when making a significant decision (and purchase) like a payments integration.

Ultimately, a successful demo requires some creative thinking on your part — you have to imagine how your team will work with the software. In addition to the above questions, make sure you look for software that’s easy for your team to use, is simple for your customers, and provides seamless automation.

Seeing your integration from the customer side

Imagine it: You’ve found what appears to be the perfect payment integration for NetSuite, your team adapts to it quickly and enthusiastically, you go live…and then the frustrated emails and phone calls start rolling in because the customer-facing side of your new payment portal is a nightmare. Before deciding on an integration, make sure you see your integration the way your customer will see it — you’ll want to make sure the customer-facing system is clean and easy to use, with a streamlined and accessible user interface and fast operating system.

While we can’t speak for other payment apps, we can let you in on how our customer-facing system works. It only takes three steps:

  1. You send an invoice to your customer from your NetSuite dashboard embedded with Paystand’s “pay now” button.
  2. When payers click on the “pay now” button, they’re directed to your privately labeled portal to choose their payment method. For example, you can offer credit card payments but tack on a 3% convenience fee. You can also provide the option to pay through our zero-fee bank-to-bank network, ACH, or another method.
  3. If your customers use the bank-to-bank method, you bypass credit card fees, postal time, lockboxes, and manual entries because their payment portal is integrated into your NetSuite dashboard. Deposits are made, posted, and reconciled automatically.

Once the customer has paid and synced with your account, you can pull the transaction up at any time or use the data in your NetSuite reports.

What is zero-fee, and why should you utilize it?

Put simply, a zero-fee is an incentive to promote your preferred payment options among your customers. Zero-fee, or feeless, payments are free for your customer and are typically used for ACH and bank-to-bank payments. While the company absorbs these fees, they tend to be significantly less than credit card processing fees, which only continue to rise.

When it comes to offsetting fees, there are two options:

  • A credit card convenience fee: Here, you will be shifting the cost of the processing fee to the customer to offset expenses or discourage the use of this payment option. It’s not “zero-fee” for your customer, but it is for you.
  • True “zero-fee” options: There is no fee for the end customer when discussing zero-fee. Usually, this is through promoting ACH and bank transfer payments. With this method, you cut the costs of processing fees while encouraging your vendors to pay directly to your bank. While not entirely free for the company, you pay a small fee instead of a hefty processing percentage fee. In the long run, this is the most cost-effective method. Zero fees for your customers foster satisfaction, leading to faster payments and decreasing your DSO, and the company is only paying a small transaction fee rather than hefty interchange and processing fees.

Paystand has pioneered feeless B2B payments through our Payments-as-a-Service (PaaS) model, Payer Incentives Module, and the Paystand Bank Network. We built our business on how payments should be, not how they’ve always been. In a 21st-century digital world, there’s no need for gatekeepers and middlemen who charge transaction fees. Everything we do is about creating capital efficiency for your business and delivering a frictionless payment experience to your customers.

Put your NetSuite AR Cash Cycle on Auto-pilot with Paystand

The B2B payments landscape is changing rapidly as traditional payment methods fall out of use in favor of automated, digital options. The early adopters who embrace automation now or soon will gain the means to outperform their competition and differentiate themselves in the market. Late adopters, on the other hand, will struggle with increasingly underwhelming accounting functions and will have to scramble to catch up to more forward-thinking competitors later on.

NetSuite Credit Card Processing can help you get ahead of the curve, offering the only zero-fee B2B payments option for NetSuite and leveraging the newest technology to create a self-driving cash cycle. What’s more, the learning curve is nonexistent — it only takes about 15-30 minutes to introduce and train employees to use the integration, and we walk you through every step of the process.

Register here for our live webinar on Wednesday, August 3rd at 10AM PST to learn more about using Paystand in conjunction with NetSuite AR and accelerating your revenue and margins with modern business payments.