Dallas-based ZenCash has launched on Monday, providing small business payment management services for startups and others. The company’s co-founders (eight guys in three countries) launched the company with $500,000 of their own money, VentureBeat reported.
ZenCash Launches New Service To Help Businesses Get Paid
Cloud-based Service Connects to QuickBooks, Clio, Freshbooks, and other Popular Invoicing Applications Providing Fully Customizable and Automated Receivables and Collections Processes
DALLAS – February 27, 2012 – For every small business owner, freelancer or sole practitioner who has ever been stiffed on an invoice, ZenCash today announced a new receivables management service that helps business owners get paid for the work that they do. With ZenCash, businesses can create a customized, automated program that keeps their invoices top-of-mind with their customers.
By automating this critical and often understaffed process, business owners can invest more time in their business, instead of squandering resources to chase down past due invoices and collect payments. Business owners can see ZenCash in action at www.zencash.com.
The process starts when a customer connects ZenCash to their current invoicing application, such as QuickBooks, Blinksale, Harvest, Clio or FreshBooks, and sets up an “Action Timeline.” This timeline defines the follow-up plan for the different stages of an invoice. For instance, when an invoice is first sent, a “thank you for your business” note, which could include an iTunes or Amazon gift card, could be mailed to the customer. Then, later, when the invoice is almost due, a friendly phone call could be placed to ensure the invoice was received and the customer is prepared to pay. If unpaid, other “reminder” notes or phone calls can be launched to nudge the delinquent customer along. Finally, if an invoice is still not paid, ZenCash can securely transmit the claim to its collections agency partner and to a network of attorneys around the country to perform traditional collections and/or legal action as needed.
The idea for ZenCash came when founder and CEO Brandon Cotter, a six-time serial entrepreneur, once found himself unable to make payroll due to unpaid invoices. He spent hours calling customers and spent hundreds of dollars hiring couriers to collect the money his small business was owed.
“Positive cash-flow is the lifeblood of any business—without it, businesses can’t buy materials or supplies, produce goods or services, hire or pay employees and vendors, or otherwise grow their business. Even worse is the time, energy and money that’s lost in the pursuit of receivables that could otherwise be channeled back into making the business more successful,” said Cotter. “With ZenCash, we seek to empower small business owners with the tools they need to get paid and the tools to improve their relationship with their customers.”
According to a 2011 study by the National Federation of Independent Business, nearly 40% of firms said that receivables are coming in at a slower pace. Similarly, a report by the Freelancer’s Union showed that 40% of freelancers report having had trouble collecting unpaid wages, and of that number, 83% said they were paid after the agreed-upon time—an average of 52 days late. This, in turn, contributes to the inability of small businesses to pay their own bills on time. The Experian Business Benchmark Report (third quarter 2011) shows that firms with one to four employees were an average of 8.3 days late in paying their bills (up 15% from Q3 2010), and firms with five to nine employees were 7.6 days late (up 16% from last year).
Austin Mann, owner of Austin Mann photography, states, “Of all the tasks it takes to run a small business, the function I like the least is dealing with customers who haven’t paid. I don’t have time to be constantly calling my clients and asking for the check. ZenCash manages all that for me now, and I feel better already. I spent about 30 minutes getting set up and then with the push of a button, ZenCash now takes care of the rest. I’d recommend this to any small business owner.”
In addition to ZenCash’s do-it-yourself receivables management services, the company has also partnered with United Recovery Systems of Houston, TX (“URS”), one of the nation’s largest and most respected collections agencies. Jim Kelleher, President of URS notes, “Typically URS’s services are only available to large companies and banking institutions. But through ZenCash, any small business owner or freelancer can benefit from our comprehensive collections services.”
When all other traditional collections methods have been exhausted, ZenCash offers a built-in legal option that connects customers to a national network of specialized attorneys who can initiate legal proceedings on the customer’s behalf. Cotter adds, “Our goal was to help the small business starting with the “thank you note” and ending with legal help if that’s what it takes to get them their money. And all of it is managed inside ZenCash so you’ve got point-and-click control of the whole timeline.”
“ZenCash is a fantastic value-add for practice management applications like ours,” said Jack Newton, CEO of Clio. “While Clio streamlines invoicing and a number of other critical processes for law firms, ZenCash automates the all-important process of ensuring those invoices get paid. As we roll out our API to partners, we couldn’t be more excited about the impact ZenCash can have on our customer’s bottom line.”
Pricing for ZenCash is a la carte—there is no setup fee and customers are only charged for the services they use. Currently, ZenCash’s receivables management services are only available for businesses in the United States trying to collect payment for commercial goods and services (as opposed to consumer goods and services).
ZenCash was created in 2011 to empower businesses and freelancers to get paid for the work that they do. ZenCash’s customizable receivables management system enables businesses to create a payment schedule that fits their needs, automate the process of contacting customers for payment—via phone, text message or printed correspondence—and facilitate third-party collections and legal assistance as needed. Headquartered in Dallas, ZenCash has sales and development sites throughout the US and Europe. For more information, please visit www.zencash.com.