Automated recurring payments from GoCardless have unlocked hundreds of thousands of dollars for Archa to re-invest in growth.
More cash for growth
Archa is a corporate credit card and spend management platform for small and medium businesses in Australia. It gives customers simplified access to credit and spend management tools to help run their business – but without any of the jumping through hoops and directors’ guarantees required by banks.
“99% of businesses don't necessarily want access to credit,” said Oliver Kidd, Founder, Archa. “What they really want is a mechanism to empower their teams to spend money and do their jobs.”
Unlike traditional credit cards, Archa’s customers clear their balance every 30 days. That makes collecting payments like clockwork a vital part of its business model.
“As a start up and because of the nature of our business, it's really important that we get that money from our customers as quickly as possible, otherwise we can't grow,” said Joseph Robins, COO, Archa.
Automated payments, end-to-end
A period of rapid growth made Archa’s manual, spreadsheet-based approach to billing a major drain on resources and a risk to cash flow.
The company was already successfully using GoCardless to automatically collect customers’ monthly repayments. After reviewing the wide-range of billing solutions with native integrations, the company opted for Chargebee to automate the remainder of its billing processes.
“We had chosen GoCardless to collect Direct Debits from day one because our product is built from scratch – we need scalable, modern solutions that don’t add any complexity,” said Oliver. “As we scaled, we needed to think about other areas of the business that needed to grow up, and billing clearly fell into that category. So it made sense to then add Chargebee, mainly because it’s an all-in-one billing solution that integrates seamlessly with GoCardless.”
Day to day, GoCardless integrated with Chargebee gives Archa the control of being able to pull funds from customer accounts on multiple different credit cycles. It also keeps costs down, by automating that process end-to-end, from billing and collection through to reconciliation.
“The GoCardless for Chargebee integration allows us to raise invoices, collect payments and reconcile them without any manual intervention or data entry from our finance team,” said Joseph. “Because 100% of customers pay by GoCardless we don't need to have a huge collections team — we don’t even have a CFO. That’s allowed us to repurpose hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of salaries into other areas of the business.”
The customer experience provided by GoCardless also plays into Archa’s overall mission to simplify spend management.
“Customers want set-and-forget experiences and GoCardless makes that possible,” said Joseph. “Having something working in the background that doesn’t rely on customers remembering to pay has been a real game-changer.”
Visibility into failed payments
Failed payments are a major headache for any business, but their impact is amplified in such heavily cash flow-dependent operations as Archa.
“Certainty around timing of receipt of payments and high payment success rates are some of the most important things in this business,” said Oliver. “We need to make sure our cash flow is optimised so that we can provide lines of credit to customers.”
That makes reliability of payments and visibility into success and failure rates vital.
“GoCardless gives us the capacity to see what proportion of our billing runs have been successful and to automate the processes that follow any failed payments,” said Oliver. “Where a particular payment has failed, we can automatically retry, or be a bit more thoughtful about when we need to talk with the customer to understand what’s going on.”
First to market with PayTo
Archa wants to be able to leverage payment innovation as quickly as they can, especially with PayTo. So it’s important to the team that they work with partners who understand where the future of payments is heading.
“We want to be first to market with PayTo, which is instant Direct Debit, and GoCardless has made the same commitment,” said Joseph. “Instant Direct Debit would mean we can refresh balances for customers right away so they can start spending as soon as they’ve made a payment. It will also give customers the flexibility to pay us multiple times a month.”
Archa’s goal now is to work with bigger businesses while expanding beyond Australia into other markets around the world.
“We see GoCardless scaling with us as we move into additional markets and add thousands and thousands of new customers,” said Joseph. “Having a payment provider with global reach that can grow with us means we won't have to worry about launching in new markets – yet another reason why it was a complete no-brainer to go with GoCardless.”