Tipalti does a lot of things a PF does, except take credit card payments.
The B2B accounts payable software service accepts six payment methods and does pre-payment checks against AML and OFAC lists and enables global payments, herding 26,000 payments rules and 120 currencies while streamlining supplier onboarding and providing everything but tax returns to its clients.
Tipalti just got $14 million in funding and chief marketing officer Rob Israch says accepting card payments is most likely in its future. It’s another example of a perfect candidate to become a PF, but Israch says because it uses so many partners to do what it does, when it offers card payments to suppliers, freelancers, etc., the facilitation would most likely be outsourced. The company helps pay approximately 750,000 suppliers and remits $2 billion annually.
“It’s on the road map,” he says of card payments. “It’s one of the smaller preferred payment methods but it’s increasing so it is something we want to enable.”
Tipalti does offer Paypal as an option, and like Paypal, is a money transmitter. Israch says one of the reasons Tipalti wouldn’t likely become a PF is because it is payment agnostic; clients can pay suppliers through global ACH, U.S. ACH, prepaid debit cards, checks, Paypal and wire transfer.
“We feel if we are pushing one payment method of ours over another that’s not actually in the best interest of the client or the payee so we prefer to look at our system as agnostic,” said Israch. “That leads to more of a partner mindset.”
Israch says Tipalti is in the same space as another almost-PF, bill.com, but helps larger merchants, like Twitter, GoDaddy, Eventbrite and GoPro. Bill.com focuses on SMB, and only inside the U.S. Israch says the comparison is that while Bill.com is looking to be the QuickBooks of the SMB accounts payable market, Tipalti sees itself as the NetSuite of the midmarket/enterprise accounts payable world.
He says Tipalti is “an upgrade path” for businesses; if they start global operations or increase volume or are planning an IPO, then Tipalti might be their next choice because of all its regulatory, global and tax experience. As a company matures and may need more financial controls, fraud controls and tax compliance, his company can help