Telpay’s new cloud-based payment management platform takes business to the next level
By Joelle Kidd
While many new businesses may position themselves as ‘disruptors,’ it’s not only start-ups that can innovate. In fact, some businesses make innovation their bread and butter—even longstanding companies.
Telpay is one such business. Started in 1985, it was the first telephone bill payment system in the country. When its Telpay for Business desktop payment platform was released in 2002, it was a revelation, allowing businesses to manage payroll, accounts payables and receivables all from a desktop computer. Today, Telpay is one of the country’s largest and most trusted payment providers, processing $20.2 billion in payments each year.
Now, that same payment ingenuity is moving online.
“This is a huge shift for Telpay,” notes Lyn Walker, Marketing Manager for Telpay. “We’re Canada’s largest independent payment provider. We were the first B2B payment software to come out into the marketplace. Now we’re releasing a new cloud-based payment platform—and this is just scratching the surface. This is just the beginning.”
A new way to pay
Shifting from a desktop to a cloudbased system was a big move, and Telpay took the time to do it right, consulting with its clients as well as industry experts to make sure to capture the most important features.
The new platform can be accessed from any browser and device. A single sign-on feature means users can log in once and have access to all their customers’ information on the platform’s customizable dashboard. It’s also fully integrated with QuickBooks Online accounting software.
“We’re able to have true API integrations”—a way of seamlessly connecting applications—“to other cloud platforms and software platforms, or partner with different organizations and groups,” says Guy Thomas, Director of Business Development. “So, we’ll have a lot more flexibility.”
Telpay plans to build up its partnerships and integrations as time goes on. The platform will also be able to update and evolve without customers having to repurchase or upgrade.
Just like its desktop product, Telpay for Business’ cloud-based platform helps accountants, bookkeepers, and business owners with just about every way they might need to move money electronically: payroll direct deposit, CRA payments, government remittance, supplier payments, and utility payments, just to name a few.
While the entire back-end system was built internally, Telpay collected feedback from clients and outside experts to ensure the new platform would meet customers’ needs. “We hired a product manager whose sole function was to work with existing customers, potential customers, and internal groups to look at the best way to design this,” Thomas says. “We had a lot of input from accountants and bookkeepers and [others in the] industry when designing it.”
Following client feedback has led to a platform that is easily customizable for the user’s needs. All updates and transactions sync in real time, and linking with accounting platforms makes month-end reconciliation easy. It’s simple to schedule and automate payments so that clients can work ahead. And collaboration is no problem: the
platform allows up to 21 approvers, and clients can customize each user’s level of access and maximum payment amounts. Teams can add comments and notes to invoices and pending payments to quickly resolve issues over the platform.
Because everything can be viewed in real time, all in one place, users can look at their dashboard to easily see the status of payments: what’s pending, what’s been completed—a simple way to track every step of the process. “It’s a really transparent process and I think it will make the user’s workflow experience a much smoother one,” says Marketing Coordinator, Rosemarie Gauthier.
Telpay is also a cut above in its biller file. “Where we really shine is that we have 150,000 billers on our list,” Thomas points out. Unlike banks, which charge significant fees to list vendors in their biller files, Telpay sets up vendors at no cost. “That way anyone will be able access them and get them paid,” Thomas says.
The biggest appeal of the new system is how user-friendly it is, Walker notes. “It’s such a clean, user-friendly interface, and it’s intuitive. There’s not much of a learning curve.”
Fit for franchising
Moving online has made the platform infinitely accessible—from wherever, whenever. “Before, you didn’t really have an option,” notes Gauthier. “If you had the software on one computer, that meant you had to do all of your business on that specific computer … if it was in the office and you were at home, wanting to do some catch-up, you couldn’t do it.”
In today’s world—when working from home has become the norm and others are looking even further afield, this is a huge advantage.
And in the franchising industry, it’s a game-changer.
“Franchisees are always on the move,” says Josh Logan, Manager of Business Development. “A lot of them are travelling, going from one location to another—not necessarily sitting down at a computer.” Even a multi-unit franchisee popping into different locations throughout the day can process payments along the way, on any laptop or even a tablet or mobile device.
“If they’re at a franchise show, they can still run their payroll at coffee break, or do approvals during a breakout session,” Logan adds. Working online “gives complete flexibility—you can pay anyone, anywhere, on any device.”
The new platform’s features make it ideal for franchisees, from the integration with QuickBooks Online to its easy-to-use, modern interface. Logan compares it to an amped-up version of an online banking platform, but with more features and far fewer fees. Franchise systems who use Telpay also benefit from special pricing.
The best part is, it’s flexible for any franchised business. “We have 12,000 clients across Canada, and they range from a sole proprietor to publicly traded companies,” Logan points out. Any business of any size can use the platform, and customize it to meet its needs.
For instance, some franchisees who manage their own payroll will use the Telpay platform to do so, Logan says. For others, the platform may be more useful in collecting payments. Telpay has franchise clients who use the system to collect payments with Pre-Authorized Debits from their customers, like tuition or monthly gym memberships.
Telpay’s franchise clients range from single location franchisees to multi-unit owners, to master franchisors. Telpay counts franchise systems such as McDonald’s, A&W, Tim Hortons, Mary Brown’s, and Bark Busters among its clients. Logan estimates they have about 500 franchise locations as clients. “It really works for everyone,” he says.
To learn more and book a demonstration visit www.telpay.ca