Wex, Inc. (WEX) Launches Flume
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WEX (NYSE: WEX) announced the launch today of Flume, a digital payment platform designed to enable fast, transparent payments for small and medium businesses (SMBs). The brainchild of the company’s incubator WEX Ventures, Flume is a unique digital wallet specifically designed to support the 30 million U.S. businesses currently relying primarily on slow, analog payment methods. Unlike most payment platforms focused on digitally enabled companies, Flume aims to help close the digital divide for overlooked trade-oriented businesses initially with less than $15 million in annual revenue.
“As the old saying goes, time is money. And for a small business operating in a market that often caters to the needs of the large enterprises, time is in short supply. Flume seeks to level the playing field by offering mom-and-pop shops a personal CFO at their fingertips,” said Jay Dearborn, President, Corporate Payments at WEX. “Powered by an FDIC insured digital wallet, Flume will allow SMBs to focus on growing their business while enhancing productivity, saving money, and reducing costs.”
Studies show that 80 percent of businesses still use paper checks for invoices. For the typical SMB that issues 450 invoices per month at an estimated cost of $15 per invoice, it costs $80,000 a year just to manually process invoices. Flume alleviates these issues by offering a transparent, digital payments platform that eliminates the need for a manual account payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) processes. Even without errors, it is anticipated to take 60-90 days for businesses to get paid on manual invoices, on average, depriving SMBs of income that could enable them to hire an additional 2 million employees. In industries like construction, payment delays are particularly challenging. By allowing businesses to send, store, and receive funds through a mobile and web app, Flume’s digital wallet will enable accelerated and real time payments.
“Most SMBs still rely on paper-based processes to power their businesses, which has served them well for decades. But looking ahead to the next 10 years, we’ve heard from many of our customers, particularly in the trades, that their current workflows can’t keep up amid skyrocketing demand,” said Matt Roy, Co-Founder & General Manager of Flume at WEX. “Most tools on the market today are built for more modern, technology enabled companies leaving many of these physically-grounded businesses out of focus; that’s why we built Flume. Flume puts the power of customized, accessible software in their hands so they can stay focused on growth and not the paperwork.”
In the coming months, WEX expects to roll Flume out in phases across specific, high-need industry hubs. The first phase will center on existing WEX fuel card users and new customers. Later this summer, WEX plans to release new software add-ons that will expand Flume to builders and tradesmen to increase payment speed and transparency for customers. Flume will be provided by WEX Payments, a state-licensed money transmitter, in conjunction with a partner commercial bank. To learn more about Flume please visit www.flumepay.com.
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