AP Technology has seen a lot change since opening it doors in 1989. The provider of payment origination solutions to bank, financial institution, government, university and business clients is responsible for processing in excess of $30 billion annually for the 6,000 customers that rely on its check issuance, electronic payment, data conversion and data transfer technology, the company said.
From the beginning, innovation has been a central theme. "We consider ourselves a startup with 25 years of experience," said AP Technology Chief Executive Officer Richard Love. "The reason we say that is we've been building applications that are sitting in the back office of large, major financial institutions and large corporations and providing some good fundamental payment applications for that."
To augment that business, the company launched APeChecks, a cloud-based platform with mobile payment capabilities. "We've taken 25 years' experience working with accounting applications, and we get to marry those together into newer technology with cloud applications with a mobile front end," Love noted.
While cloud-based payment applications are nothing new, one aspect is often overlooked. "One of the things we find is that everybody is kind of leaving the small businesses in the dust because they're not embracing checks," Love said. "And for small businesses, there are still 20 billion checks being processed each year."
He said two primary reasons exist for small businesses to retain checks. One is to maintain control over finances and the other involves cash flow. Often a business owner will have an accountant print a batch of checks, then release checks as they become due. "That business process is really important to small businesses, and they don't want to dump that process to go to an ACH or some other electronic format," Love said.
AP Technology found that it could help small businesses bridge the gap and save time by automating the process through the cloud, so checks can be printed and delivered on demand. "Now that CEO on Friday could actually be on a golf course and they can pull out their mobile app and say, 'Oh, I've got approvals to do,'" Love said, adding that the business owner is able to sign directly on the mobile screen to approve checks. Using multitiered security, the digital signature is then transferred to checks upon printing.
Beyond remote approvals, the platform offers automated clearing house (ACH) and other payment options. Businesses are able to send email billing notifications to accounts payable departments, at which point, if an ACH payment is selected, the account information is entered and electronic delivery of payment is executed.
AP Technology said it has evolved its platform to accommodate not only business-to-business, but consumer-to-business clients as well, all with the utmost security. "Our mobile application and the security that we provide in that application is three tiers deep just in the communication of that data and that data at rest," Love said. "We have patented technology on secure movement of financial data and automation of that movement of data."
To provide a buffer against fraud, AP Technology developed tools for scoring customers based on a number of variables. "Besides vetting the customer, doing all the fact checking, anti-money laundering and all those other factors, we also give a score and decide, as they're using our system, what levels they can deal with per transaction, per day and as far as geographical locations related, too," Love said.
In the coming months, AP Technology plans to expand its sales channels. "APeChecks' ISO reseller program will be introduced in Q1 2016," said Greg Wilfahrt, the company's Chief Mobility and Marketing Officer. "It will provide generous income for ISOs, while providing merchants with flexible, cutting-edge ACH and e-check services – yes, traditional check solutions, too – wrapped in the APeChecks payment platform."
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