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Meeting customer demand for mobile and multichannel solutions

This article appears in the issue July/August 2015, [Volume 24, Issue 7]
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As companies look to embrace mobile and multichannel options to serve customers on their own terms, they rely on knowledge management to implement such processes as bill payment and insurance claims.

Mobile and multichannel capabilities are increasingly important to invoicing and bill payment systems. Consumers and businesses alike want to submit digital forms via the Internet or use image capture of forms for invoices. On the payment side, more businesses want electronic payments, but some still prefer paper checks. Businesses on both sides want to know when payments have been made.

EverQuote, an Internet company that helps consumers find auto insurance much like Kayak helps customers find travel options, had used paper processes for years to receive invoices needed to pay consumers with carriers, to compensate technical service providers, to reimburse employee expenses and to cover standard office expenses such as rent and electricity.

As customers continued to adopt mobile and other digital solutions, EverQuote officials knew it was time for them to upgrade their bill payment solutions as well, says John Wagner, CFO. An upgraded system would also enable EverQuote to make ACH payments more easily, an important feature as more vendors seek digital payments rather than staying with paper checks that can get delayed in the mail.

“Our customers want to know when a payment has been made,” Wagner says.

A point solution

The search started in 2013. Wagner considered a couple of different solutions, but found that some were designed to handle accounting and other bookkeeping beyond bill payment, and were costly due to the added bells and whistles.

“I was looking for a point solution for bill payment,” says Wagner, who in April 2014 chose MineralTree’s Invoice-to-Pay application, a system he had used at two previous companies. Implementation took less than an hour, with Invoice-to-Pay integrating easily into EverQuote’s existing QuickBooks online accounting system.

With MineralTree's Invoice-to-Pay installed, EverQuote was able to accept invoices electronically via online scanned or mobile images, quickly procure necessary approvals and pay vendors via ACH or check, according to Wagner. MineralTree's Invoice-to-Pay also allows for two-party approvals. Additional approvals typically come via the mobile channel.

“It’s a SaaS-based solution, so we don’t have anyone who has to sit on a server,” Wagner adds. “The biggest benefit is that it provides us one interface for payments.”

Wagner is looking to expand use of the MineralTree's Invoice-to-Pay system to include acceptance of virtual credit cards, a payment type that some of EverQuote’s vendors are starting to consider.

Easing insurance claims

Auto insurance claims are known for the cumbersome process of matching paper documents from the insured and various third parties in order to properly settle claims.

Safe-Guard Products, a company that offers “gap” insurance—the amount between the book value and replacement cost of the vehicle, as well as protection for tires, keys and auto appearance, saw that various stakeholders, including customers, dealerships, lien holders, etc., wanted mobile and multichannel options for managing documents and the claims process.

“The nature of our claims is that many of them involve multiple documents. We may get eight or nine per claim,” says Tim Dewey, the company’s VP of workforce reporting and ops technology. “We wanted to provide the customer with a mobile capture capability and our stakeholders with more transparency.”

In October 2013, Safe-Guard began researching various visioning and scanning systems, then broadened the search to find platforms with various mobile and multichannel capabilities. Three companies were invited to make presentations. Safe-Guard chose the TotalAgility solution from Kofax.

“Others didn’t have all of the technical components that we needed, or they weren’t aligned around transparency. That’s what customers want today,” Dewey says. Kofax Total-Agility offered the transparency as well as a way to enable Safe-Guard to eliminate much of its back-office friction regarding location of different documents.

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