Xero, the global small business platform, has announced two new payments features underpinned by some of the latest financial technologies, to help UK small businesses save time and have greater control over their cash flow.
Unveiled at Xeroʼs roadshow, the first is a new bill payments tool that oﬀers a simple and secure way to manage, approve and pay bills without leaving Xero. To save time on their everyday administrative tasks, small businesses and their advisors can now set up direct bank transfer as a payment method for bills, and use open banking to quickly and securely batch pay multiple bills from their bank account.
This means UK businesses using a UK bank that supports open banking, can now complete their end-to-end accounts payable process in Xero, giving them greater control over their cash flow.
To enable this functionality for its customers, Xero is partnering with financial services provider Crezco to facilitate the open banking payment services. Xero will be the first small business cloud accounting software in the UK to oﬀer on-platform bill payments using open banking.
“Paying bills is crucial for cash flow, but itʼs still a very manual process for many small business owners. With our bill payments feature, small businesses can avoid manual bank transfers, funding external wallets and accounts or entering credit card details. It's all about making life easier and saving time on everyday admin,” said Jo Copestake, UK Sales Director, Xero.
Xeroʼs Money Matters report found that 50 percent of UK small businesses are worried about their financial future amidst economic uncertainties. Bill payments oﬀer small businesses real-time cash flow insights, as payments could be made almost immediately, enabling them to see the up to date impact of bill payments and an accurate view of cashflow to help make informed business decisions.
“As small businesses continue to face economic challenges, having access to digital tools that can help them predict and manage cash flow challenges is essential,” added Copestake.
Eligible UK Xero customers are able to register for the bill payments beta now, with the new feature being made available on 27 November 2023.
eInvoicing ʻreceiveʼ capability now available with Xero
Xero is the first major small business accounting software to launch eInvoicing in the UK, starting with the ability to receive eInvoices. Hailed as the next big billing revolution, eInvoicing uses the secure Peppol network to enable the electronic real-time delivery of invoices between small businesses and their trading partners.
“eInvoicing will be a powerful new tool for businesses to make their payment process much more eﬀicient. Itʼs a faster and safer way to send and receive invoices– itʼs automated, and it removes the need to create paper or PDF invoices, as well as the process of scanning, emailing and manually entering them,” said Copestake.
Xero customers can now register to receive eInvoices in Xero, with bills coming straight into the platform to oﬀer a holistic view of a small businessʼ cash flow position. While eInvoicing is mandatory for UK government agencies and its suppliers, the UK has not adopted eInvoicing more broadly.
“We expect that eInvoicing will eventually become a global best practice standard and a natural part of the cloud accounting process. As adoption continues to grow around the world, weʼll continue building a seamless eInvoicing experience in Xero for our customers,” added Copestake.