Jul 28, 2021 | International Payments
Optimise your institution’s outgoing payments
As the education sector continues to globalise, institutions are increasingly working with large numbers of vendors, partners and agents from around the world. However, ensuring these organisations get paid on time, in their preferred currency, in a timely manner can be challenging to manage and any delays in payments can damage your institution's reputation and relationship with your vendor.
Read on to learn how to ensure your outgoing payments process runs with ease.
1. Streamline all your payments using one easy portal for payments and beneficiary collection.
Ensure that both your beneficiary collection process and payout process are in the same system to ensure you can easily review status or payments and approve to ensure your vendor or partner gets paid in a timely manner.
2. Leverage your partner’s banking network to enable payments to be initiated and completed by the same provider, without relying on third parties.
Work with a payment partner who has their own banking network rather than relying on 3rd party partners. That way you can track and monitor payments easily without having to rely on others to provide status update.
3. Pay your vendors and partners in their local currency.
In today’s global education sector, your institution may have vendors from around the world. Give them the option to get paid in their local currency. As well as making invoicing and receiving payment easy for them, you are also ensuring that you are not exposing your institution to mark ups on invoices when vendors bill in your institution’s currency, in order to protect themselves from the risk of currency fluctuation. Western Union Business Solutions supports payments in more than 130 currencies to more than 200 countries and territories.
4. Manage payments in bulk.
As payment volumes grow, institutions need to be able to manage payments in bulk to minimise the time spent managing and consolidates outgoing orders to complete individual payments. Work with a payment provider who can offer bulk upload, approval and cart management of up to 500 payments at once so you can make payments in larger batches.
5. Make it easy for vendors and individual payees to provide their bank details.
Ensure your end recipient gets their money quickly by gathering the necessary bank details first time round. Work with a partner that offers a user-friendly beneficiary data capture process allowing your payees to provide their details quickly and easily with intuitive logic that asks for the correct banking information for the payee’s country to ensure payment is completed first time.
6. Reduce added costs from currency buffers.
When your overseas vendors, partners or agents bill you in your institution’s currency, rather than the vendor’s local currency, they may add a mark up or a buffer to cover them from the risk of currency fluctuation between the invoice date and when they receive their payment. By giving your payees a simple and easy way to request payment in their local currency, you are eliminating this pain point for them and could reduce costs for your institution. Being paid in their local currency is most likely more convenient for your vendor too so you will also be strengthening your relationship with your partners.
7. Configure your process to align with your institution’s existing procedures and policies.
Each institution has different processes and procedures that any payment process will need to align with. Work with a partner who can offer a flexible payment platform that can be configured to meet your institution’s specific requirements such as sequential approval models, approval limits, payment initiation requests.
8. Integrate with your incumbent systems for easy reporting and processes.
To achieve ultimate process efficiencies, your chosen payments platform should seamlessly integrate with your existing ERP systems, so you gain efficiencies in reporting and visibility between systems.
9. Protect your vendors and partners from the risk of fraud.
It is critical to ensure that when collecting beneficiary details, your institution has steps in place to stop phishers from intercepting this data. A co-branded payment platform that provides secure bank detail collection with ID validation to ensure the respondent is the intended recipient. Collected details are presented throughout the client review, with optional document collection, to ensure that validation of payment details can be performed efficiently.
Ensure that your payments provider has a dedicated team that helps protect your vendors and partners from fraud and will work with your institution if fraud does occur. Ultimately, helping to defend your vendors against fraudulent activity contributes to your institution’s reputation as a partner they can trust. Which leads us on to……
10. Protect your institution’s reputation.
If your vendor falls victim to fraud when providing their bank details to your institution or if you become a victim of business email compromise, this could generate negative PR for your institution. To make sure this does not happen, you should ensure your payment provider employs robust data collection, data validation and document collection processes when collecting payee details.
11. Ensure your payment provider meets regulatory standards.
Both educational institutions and payment processors are subject to strict regulations and compliance standards relating to the processing of data, and the protection of privacy. Your payments provider must demonstrate that it has qualified personnel and sufficient expertise and controls in place to comply with such requirements. They need to be an expert in this area and serve as an asset in your ongoing efforts to adhere to these rules.
Moving money around the world can be complicated, requiring compliance with a whole array of local and foreign regulations and requirements designed to prevent money laundering and fraud. It pays to work with a payments provider that is a licensed money remitter, which means they have the compliance experience and necessary licensing to help fully protect your vendors, partners, students and your institution.
12. Work with a payment partner you can trust.
Do you have proof that your partner has the size and the financial strength and stability to withstand any significant changes in the market? In times of economic instability, a provider’s susceptibility to market downturns could result in a loss of funds. In turn, this could impact the reputation of your institution and its ability to attract international students and research funding. It is important to work with a provider that is part of a public company with publicly available, audited financial statements that you can monitor for confidence that your institution is not at risk.
As you seek efficiencies in your outgoing payment processes, speak to the education experts at Western Union Business Solutions about how we can support your institution with our outgoing payments solution enabling easy and robust beneficiary collection processes, flexible customisation and integration options and payout in 130 currencies to more than 200 countries and territories.
Contact us to find out how we can help you manage your payments to vendors and other partners quickly and efficiently.