May 13, 2014, 1:45 AM

B2B sellers get an e-invoicing portal they can brand as their own

Heartland Payment Systems and VersaPay Corp. are offering a new payment portal service directly to small and mid-sized companies for invoicing customers.

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Small and mid-sized companies have a new option for invoicing their customers, and they don’t have to go through their banks to get it.

Payments processor Heartland Payment Systems has teamed up with VersaPay Corp., a provider of electronic invoicing services, to offer directly to client companies an online portal for managing the preparation and sending of invoices to customers.

Under an agreement forged late last month between Heartland and VersaPay, Heartland will resell the VersaPay ARC eInvoicing system, which will deliver invoices on behalf of Heartland’s clients through an online portal branded with the seller’s name. The customers receiving the invoices have the option to pay via credit or debit cards as well as by paper check or bank transfers through the Automated Clearing House system, a network for exchanging funds between U.S. banks whose fees typically are far less than those of credit card networks.

“Paper invoices typically cost a few dollars to process from end to end, and it can take thirty to ninety days to receive payment,” says Kris Herrin, Heartland’s chief of emerging products. With VersaPay ARC eInvoicing, each invoice costs less than a postage stamp to process and payments are received days or even weeks earlier.”

Nancy Atkinson, a senior analyst at payments research and consulting form Aite Group, says the new offering from Heartland and VersaPay introduced a new option for companies that want more control over their own e-invoicing system instead of going through a bank for managing invoicing. By comparison, other invoicing and payment services companies that cater to small and mid-sized busineses, notably industry leaders Bill.com and Mineral Tree, are set up to offer their invoicing services through banks instead of directly to client companies, Atkinson says.

She adds that Bll.com and Mineral Tree have each traditionally focused on servicing ACH payments, though Bill.com earlier this year said it was also supporting invoice payments via PayPal and credit and debit payment cards. PayPal is the third-party payment service from eBay Inc.

“Some companies will want to get e-invoicing through their banks and collect ACH payments and collect ACH payments, while others will want direct solutions like VersaPay and Heartland,” Atkinson says.

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