DETROIT, May 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Autobooks, a small business payment and accounting platform built on Microsoft Azure, today announced the launch of a new initiative to encourage small businesses to "Get Paid with Autobooks." This initiative will enable small businesses and nonprofits to enroll directly with Autobooks to receive card and ACH payments online and have those payments deposited directly into their existing account at their financial institution. Additionally, Autobooks is waiving monthly fees for customers using Get Paid through 2020 in light of the unique financial strain COVID-19 has placed on small businesses.
The goal of the initiative is simple. When a small business calls up their bank or credit union and asks, "I have a customer that wants to pay me online, can you help?" the financial institution should simply say "Yes, you can Get Paid with Autobooks."
Autobooks regularly partners with banks and credit unions across the country to offer an all-in-one small business product suite that integrates into their digital banking platforms. The service allows businesses to send invoices, collect online payments, automate accounting, and build financial reports within the same internet banking experience they are familiar with.
The adoption and usage of Autobooks has accelerated dramatically in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis as small businesses across the country shift from face-to-face transactions to receiving payments at a distance. Financial institutions that had previously invested in digital tools for small businesses, such as Autobooks, have seen merchant portfolio's grow in recent weeks, whereas the rest of the industry that has seen 30-50% reductions in payment volume due to dependency on card-present transactions. Since most banks and credit unions do not yet offer similar solutions, small businesses must turn to third-party non-bank providers such as PayPal or Square.
Autobooks aims to help financial institutions better compete with non-bank providers, leveraging a technique called payment facilitation, aka "payfac" - which dramatically reduces the barrier of entry for a business to accept payments. "Non-bank providers such as PayPal, Square and Stripe have long benefited from this model and it's now time financial institutions can too." said Steve Robert, CEO and Co-Founder of Autobooks. "By providing a digital, self-service onboarding and automated underwriting process – a small business can now begin receiving payments directly into their existing checking account within a few minutes."
"Small businesses that typically rely on face-to-face payments are being forced to quickly pivot to receiving customer payments online and we want to help financial institutions to support them in their moment of need," adds Derik Sutton, VP Product & Experience of Autobooks. "We want to ensure small businesses can Get Paid now, and we will work with the financial institution on deeper integration later."
Autobooks is a Microsoft financial services partner and uses its Azure cloud platform to build trusted and scalable infrastructure for its digital banking suite. Taking advantage of a modern cloud architecture allowed Autobooks to quickly bring its "Get Paid" edition to market in order to address the pressing need for simplified online payment platforms during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We are proud to work with companies like Autobooks that benefit from Microsoft Azure to offer services that can help alleviate economic stress for small businesses during this unprecedented period," said Luke Thomas, Head of Banking U.S. Financial Services at Microsoft. "At Microsoft, we're committed to providing technology, services and resources to our customers to help them adapt to the new reality of remote business."
Small businesses are a critical part of the economy, employing nearly half of the private workforce in the U.S. and accounting for a staggering 99.9% of all businesses in the country as of 2018. Small businesses are also uniquely vulnerable to economic downturns, as the average small business only has 27 days of cash reserves. A recent report from Main Street America found that 7.5 million small businesses nationwide are at risk of closure. Maintaining cash flow is critical to the survival of this sector.
As businesses look to embrace the speed and efficiency of digital services, they can now enroll directly with Autobooks, link their checking account and within minutes begin accepting payments. The small business will be notified when a payment is received and funds will be deposited directly into an account with their preferred financial institution. Small business owners can now keep a finger on the pulse of their business, with up-to-the-minute accuracy to proactively manage their cash flow.
About Autobooks: Detroit-based Autobooks is a provider of small business banking solutions that make it simple to get paid online, manage cash flow, and automate accounting. Through Autobooks, financial institutions can provide a small business e-commerce platform directly embedded within their existing digital banking channels. Please visit www.autobooks.co to learn more.