20 Years after Inventing MicroFridge™, Entrepreneur launches Invoice Cloud™
Boston, Ma – July 28, 2009 – Hoping to repeat past successes, entrepreneur Bob Bennett is going green and simplifying billing with his new company, Invoice Cloud, Inc.
Twenty years ago, almost to the day, Bennett had his first MicroFridge™ units rolling off the assembly line. MicroFridge, Bennett’s invention, is an integrated microwave oven and refrigerator with patented energy-saving circuitry used by college students, hotel occupants, military personnel and seniors. He sold that company nine years later to Mac-Gray Corporation, a leading provider of laundry services, who continues to successfully market the product today.
Still widely used, Bennett admits, “the MicroFridge product was a simple idea that solved a pretty big problem for students and others living in small spaces. Invoice Cloud™ is another simple idea that solves a big problem for organizations that spend too much time and money sending out paper bills and processing paper checks.”
According to a June 2008 article in Business Credit by Lyle Wallis, CCE, and vice president of research for the Credit Research Foundation:
In 2000, 35% of all payments were executed with some sort of electronic system. By 2010, that number is expected to reach 62%. The key factor cited is the cost-saving potential that can be realized by switching from a manual paper-based system to an automated electronic system. Research shows that billers will collectively save $5.5 billion, or 12%, over their current bill processing expenditures.
Over 87% of the respondents to a CRF survey have indicted they plan to adopt the technology in the next three years. When asked by the CRF survey to select the three primary reasons companies were considering the implementation of an electronic presentment and payment system, 54% of respondents looked for it to improve cash flow, 45% viewed it as providing better customer service and 44% saw it as a means to trigger cost savings by reducing invoice processing costs.
A recent Gartner Group survey of 100 companies with sales of $100 million or more, reveals that a savings of $5.7 million a year could be realized for businesses that bill electronically if a mere 2.3% of their invoices are viewed, paid and disputed online.
Eleven years and three successful corporate engagements later, Bennett has assembled what he considers to be a dream team of experienced execs to leverage their past successes and take the Invoice Cloud e-billing service to great heights. In partnership with accounting solution providers, Invoice Cloud:
- reduces biller’s invoicing costs,
- improves cash flow,
- enhances customer service, and
- supports a green business strategy.
Each biller is provided with branded emailed invoice notifications, emailed receipts and an on-line customer center where customers can make immediate or scheduled payments, review past invoice and payment history and create or update their payer profile. Bennett adds, “Our service remembers the customer’s payment information for future payments but relieves the solutions provider and the billing organization of the burden of storing this sensitive information. It’s a natural application for cloud computing but requires development resources with deep experience in secure storage technologies.”
Billers don’t need to have customer email addresses to use the service, as paper invoices can drive adoption by providing the biller’s web address where customers can pay on-line and enter their email addresses to go paperless. Invoice Cloud sets the whole system up for billers. As one Invoice Cloud partner put it, “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ customers are going to receive invoices and make payments on-line, it’s a matter of when.” Invoice Cloud has customers and partners that have been using their service for months and is adding more each month.
Invoice Cloud management believes that their partner model is a key differentiator. Says Bennett, “Accounting solutions partners provide integration support and share revenue on all invoicing and payment transactions without incurring the development costs related to payment card industry (PCI) compliance. Together, we provide billers with cost savings, enhanced cash flow and improved customer service to create a true win-win.”
About Invoice Cloud, Inc.
Invoice Cloud, Inc. (www.invoicecloud.com) is a web based, electronic invoice presentment and processing company. Invoice Cloud partners with business software companies and their resellers to provide faster, more convenient and less expensive billing services to their customers.