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BMO and Bill team up to streamline AR/AP for SMBs

The news: BMO and Bill (formerly introduced BMO Bill Connect, an accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) offering for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), per a press release.

Here’s how it works: BMO Bill Connect lets SMBs automate bill pay, digitize invoices, and monitor cash flow through one dashboard, and it offers two pricing tiers depending on businesses’ monthly transaction volume.

  • It can send automatic reminders for vendor invoices and also lets SMBs pay vendors with virtual cards to conceal personal payment details.
  • It syncs with popular accounting software platforms like QuickBooks and Xero.
  • BMO Bill Connect also lets SMBs accept bank transfers, card payments, and checks.

Why it’s worth watching: Three key benefits are making AR and AP automation a bigger priority for businesses.

  • Time efficiency. Automating processes like expense logging can help SMBs save time and reallocate human resources to other key business processes. AP automation can create between 70% to 80% in time savings, per Goldman Sachs.
  • Lower long-term costs. Because manual AR and AP processes can be costly, switching over to automation can help businesses minimize expenses. Improving cost structures is critical as SMBs contend with high inflation and interest rates.
  • Improved cash flows. Faster invoicing and digital payment processes give SMBs better visibility into their cash flows. Forty percent of SMBs agreed that cash flow was one of the biggest challenges they faced last year, according to a Capital One survey.

The opportunity: Since BMO Bill Connect requires a business checking account, it can help drive customer acquisition and open cross-sell opportunities for BMO. The offering can also extend Bill’s reach by giving it access to BMO’s SMB clients.

The offering also lets both firms tap a lucrative market opportunity: Only 29% of companies with annual revenues below $250 million have implemented end-to-end AP automation—compared with 51% of companies with $250 million to $1 billion in annual revenues, per MineralTree.

Related content: Check out our Accounts Payable and Receivable Automation spotlight report to learn about how banks and software providers can address SMB payment needs.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Payments Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the payments industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.