How it began

In 1996, Viewpost CEO, Max Eliscu, founded LSQ Funding Group to address a systemic working capital financing gap for small enterprises. Today, the company is a leader in the invoice and supply chain finance industry, having processed more than $30 billion in payments to businesses across the country. Immersed in the inefficient and largely paper-based methods businesses use to send and receive payments, Max launched Viewpost in 2011 to build a solution that would simplify the business-to-business (B2B) payment experience. Working with leading financial and technology partners, like Visa, Viewpost built a secure network that streamlines the flow of payments and data.

Despite decades of industry-wide efforts to eliminate paper checks, an estimated 40-60% of B2B payments (valued at roughly $14 trillion) are still printed and mailed. Targeting the remaining paper payments, Viewpost designed a check optimization solution that transforms traditional B2B check printing into a high-value, low-friction service capable of converting checks to virtual credit card* or other forms of electronic payment in near real-time. The service, available directly or through technology partners and banks, is designed for middle-market, mid-corporate and enterprise-sized companies that produce the majority of the remaining checks.

 Max Eliscu – CEO

Converting Check Printing to Big Savings

Remote check printing has historically been a low-value, low-revenue and low-margin payment solution for corporations, banks, printers, and technology providers. As a result, there is minimal service adoption, and only 2% of $14 trillion in commercial checks are printed remotely.

Rather than focusing on check printing, financial institutions and technology companies have sought to deploy sophisticated payment solutions designed to accelerate the elimination of check payments. Unfortunately, despite service providers’ deep and valuable relationships with their commercial customers, best-of-breed payment solutions, including virtual card programs, remain painful to deploy, difficult to use and produce too few results. The combination of these factors, plus the difficulty of replacing existing payment programs, results in customer penetration rates that are often under 15%.

Bridging the gap, Viewpost’s check optimization service enables banks and technology companies to offer remote check printing that delivers all the promises of sophisticated payment optimization solutions without the typical friction and operational difficulty. Perhaps most innovative, because the solution focuses on check printing, it can be deployed and deliver value to all customers, even those with existing payment solutions, as check optimization directly targets the check payments that the primary provider has missed.

Despite the clear benefits of Viewpost's solution, Viewpost and its partners face two distinct challenges when meeting with their clients. The first is believing there can't be a material opportunity to optimize their payments further. After all, they likely have been using a big bank or tech partner for years. To address this concern, Viewpost has developed algorithms that quickly and accurately assess the embedded opportunity within a customer's remaining checks. In addition, it is helpful that the typical savings are between 40X and 70X the cost of no longer printing their checks. And because check optimization unlocks those savings as simply as sending a file to a printer, the value proposition quickly becomes apparent. However, once companies understand the opportunity, it triggers Viewpost's most common concern, "It sounds too good to be true." Viewpost finds that the best way to overcome this is for customers to speak to their peers.  

Viewpost’s unique approach – offering optimization as a back-end utility to check printing – transforms check printing into a high-value, high-margin onramp to payment digitization. By improving customer and partner experiences, reducing integration complexity and eliminating operational change, Viewpost provides a valuable service that complements existing payment solutions rather than replaces them.

Internally, Viewpost faces a challenge that countless other organizations in today’s business landscape face: growing and maintaining an engaged and inclusive company culture in a primarily remote workplace.

Influential management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” and Viewpost embraces this belief. To ensure the propagation of its culture, the organization is divided into cross-functional teams empowered to challenge norms and offer ideas for improvement. Further, Viewpost recognizes that successful and happy employees are more efficient, productive and capable of delighting customers. To that end, Viewpost invests heavily in its operational technology, making the job of the job easy for even its newest employees. As a result, you won't find Viewpost operational employees jumping across a dizzying number of screens trying to do their job. Instead, each system automatically gathers and simplifies all the necessary information to do their jobs and exceed customers’ expectations. This focus on service reinforces the customer-first mindset that guides decision-making, product development and customer experience. The translation to the marketplace has been direct and measurable, with a net promoter score (NPS) consistently above 75, compared to an industry average of 35.

 Suneel Chirunomula – EVP, Growth

Serving the Middle Market

Sandwiched between small businesses and enterprise companies, the middle market is often underserved by technology and service providers. The needs of small businesses are more easily addressed by low-cost solutions with limited features and minimal customer support requirements, and enterprise companies present a larger financial opportunity that draws greater attention and investment in large-scale solutions. Unfortunately, this leaves the middle market using solutions that don't meet its specific needs or, more importantly, are delivered with frustratingly unacceptable levels of customer service. In addition, middle-market companies struggle to allocate IT resources required to implement complex technology, incorporate new business processes into operational routines, and implement widespread change-management requirements.  

Because of this, Viewpost concentrated on serving the middle market by creating a solution that focuses on simplicity, ease of use and financial benefits to the customer. To achieve this, the company took a unique approach that prioritized what is most important and de-prioritized what is least important to its customers.

As Viewpost CEO Max Eliscu explains, “Delivering exceptional service that can be used as a competitive advantage goes beyond responding to customers quickly, believing the customer is always right, or greeting people with a smile. Service excellence is about prioritizing what customers find most important and deliberately de-prioritizing what the customers think is least important. That last part is both essential and ironic — choosing to be bad at one thing in the service of being excellent at something else. If you build your business by design to deliver exceptional service quality, it isn’t easy for incumbent competitors to compete.” 

While Viewpost has the technology and capability to deliver a broad range of invoicing and payment solutions, the company decided not to offer another all-purpose solution. Instead, the company has chosen to be great at making it effortless for companies to outsource check printing, increase virtual credit card payments and generate substantially greater savings for its customers.

Collaboration with Visa

Visa’s success is largely a function of its commitment to innovation. That commitment goes far beyond the development of Visa solutions and is often fueled by supporting innovative leaders within the FinTech community. Viewpost is a long-time partner of Visa, and its solutions and market acceptance have benefited materially from Visa’s support. Together, their goals have been to help businesses further reduce their dependence on checks while improving payment speed, security and operational processing costs.

The relationship is mutually beneficial and allows Visa issuers to expand their addressable markets by offering a high-value solution to portfolio customers who continue to print checks, namely everyone. Similarly, the partnership benefits Viewpost by providing expanded reach and resources. For example, Viewpost can digitize payments that middle market companies make to their suppliers by using virtual cards through Visa's network. In addition, Viewpost's technology and processes enable the company to scale up rapidly while maintaining exceptional customer service and payment optimization results. With up to $8.4 trillion in B2B check payments remaining amongst middle market and corporate businesses in the U.S., check optimization opens a new market and enables Visa and Viewpost to help middle-market companies extract value from the last mile of paper checks.

 Matt Miller – EVP, Partnerships

Looking Ahead

In Eliscu’s view, “Entrepreneurial success generally requires developing a solution with great product market fit within a large market, building a great culture, exhibiting excellent communication skills, and demonstrating a seemingly endless level of resiliency.”

Viewpost is now ten years old, growing at more than 100% a year and accelerating. “Our success hasn't been a straight line (success never is), but the business has built a truly differentiated solution that creates remarkable value for everyone in our value chain,” Eliscu notes. “As a result, everyone from our large customers to the vendors they pay, their banks, the card networks, accounting platform providers and technology partners are aligned and helping to drive our growth and utilization.”

Next up for Viewpost is to continue to innovate and ensure they do not sacrifice service in the interest of growth. “We feel great about the technology we have built for our customers, partners and team,” says Liz Moody, Viewpost's chief experience officer. “We invest more to make the job of the job simpler and easier for our team than we do in almost any other area. As a result, it is easier to hire, our people are happier and we can focus on exceptional service experiences. This approach enables us to delight our customers daily, which we find more exciting than anything.”

 Liz Moody – Chief Experience Officer

*A virtual credit card is a non-physical form of card payment that generates a single-use, 16-digit card number issued for a specific payment value. Virtual cards are processed through a payee’s merchant account, just like a standard credit card transaction. However, since virtual cards are limited to one-time purchases at set dollar values, they are inherently more secure than other forms of electronic payment.