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31.5.2024 | Last updated: 17.7.2024

26 min read

A guide to SME Payment hubs: Streamlined payment processes

There are a few things that are more important for small and medium-sized businesses than efficient payment processing. Prompt payment processing drives liquidity and makes cash flow management make sense.

Smooth payment processes contribute to competitive advantage, reduce costs, help manage risks, and in tandem with your other systems make it clear what’s going on in your business.

That’s value, is it not? Have you ever considered a payment hub?

 

Payment hub – painless payment processes for SMEs?  

a guide to SME payment hubs streamlined payment processes

Payment hub – what is that?

You might think a payment hub is something only large enterprises require, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re making payments consistently, chances are high that you need a payment hub.  

Large enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) differ in their payment hub needs due to varying scale and complexity. While large enterprises handle high transaction volumes with diverse payment types and complex workflows across multiple subsidiaries, SMEs generally have lower transaction volumes and simpler processes, needing a payment hub that integrates easily with existing systems like accounting software.  

Both large enterprises and SMEs require payment hubs that seamlessly integrate with existing IT infrastructure, but SMEs tend to operate in comparatively less complex IT environments.  

Scalability is crucial for both. Large enterprises need hubs to handle growth and, depending on the nature of their industry, seasonal spikes in cash flow, while SMEs need flexibility to expand operations without disruption.  

Think about it this way; if large enterprises can leverage payment hubs to improve operations and drive financial strategy why would that be any different for small and mid-size businesses?

Aren’t they also in dire need of efficiency, accuracy, security and other improvements in their payment processes?

There’s no better way to bring together multiple payment channels, methods, and transactions for streamlined processing and management.

Request a payment hub demo

Essential payment hub features and functions for SMEs

A payment hub is not just a fancy piece of technology – it brings many benefits to every business. Centralization is key, as it simplifies payment management by consolidating various channels and methods into a single interface, reducing repetitive tasks through automation. 

Payment hubs also streamline incoming and outgoing payments, provide multi-channel support, and integrate with ERPs and banks for data synchronization. 

Automation not only cuts manual intervention but also reduces errors and fraud, employing machine learning to detect suspicious activity and safeguard businesses and customers. 

Also, payment hub analytics enable SMEs to monitor payment trends, transaction volumes, customer behavior, and revenue streams efficiently, aiding in decision-making and management. 

Payment hub functionalities for SMEs:

When implemented right payment hubs provide several concrete benefits for finance and treasury teams.

Payment hub functionalities centralized payment processing
Centralized payment processing
Ability to manage various payment methods like direct debits, payroll and bank to bank payment, in one platform. 
Payment hub functionalities integration capabilities

Integration capabilities
Seamless integration with existing systems like accounting software and ERP systems. 

Payment hub functionalities security measures

Security measures
Robust security features such as encryption, tokenization, and fraud detection to safeguard sensitive payment data. 

Payment hub functionalities automation

Automation
Automation of payment processes to reduce manual effort and streamline workflows, saving time and resources. 

Payment hub functionalities real-time reporting

Real-time reporting
Real-time visibility into cash flows, transaction statuses, and payment reconciliation for informed decision-making. 

Payment hub functionalities scalability
Scalability
Scalable solution that can accommodate growing transaction volumes and support business expansion. 
Payment hub functionalities user-friendly interface
User-friendly interface
Intuitive and easy-to-use interface that requires minimal training for staff members. 
Payment hub functionalities customization options
Customization options
Flexibility to customize workflows, approval processes, and payment configurations to meet specific business needs. 
Payment hub functionalities customer support
Customer support
Access to responsive customer support and ongoing updates and maintenance to ensure smooth operation of the payment hub.

Payment hub advantages to small and medium-sized enterprises

Although payment hub can easily be seen as something that only provides benefits for large enterprises with increasingly complex payment operations, in reality, payment process pains are as real to small and medium businesses. For one, payment hubs enable these businesses to increase operational efficiency. And for two, payment hubs allow them to reduce administrative overhead.  

As SMEs are working with tighter budgets, payment hubs can provide cost-effective solutions to fit their needs. Payment hubs for SMEs typically offer flexible pricing models that allow businesses to access advanced payment processing capabilities in return for a reasonable investment.  

With limited resources, managing payments across multiple channels and platforms can be complex and time-consuming. Payment hubs centralize payment processing activities, offering a single interface for managing transactions, reconciling accounts, and generating reports. This streamlines payment operations, reduces manual effort, and frees up valuable time, and resources that SMEs can allocate to core business activities. 

SME payment hub success stories 

"Nomentia’s web-based, easy to customize solution with already-established bank connections was the most obvious choice."

Greenchoice was struggling with ineffective manual cash management processes across multiple banks. They sought to streamline operations, improve visibility into cash flows, and simplify payment processes with Nomentia. Nomentia's web-based, customizable solution offered established bank connections and affordable pricing, aligning with Greenchoice's needs. Read about Greenchoices success with Nomentia here

Bas Meijer

Brita was burdened by complex payment processing due to using multiple banks and lacking a centralized system. To address these issues, they opted for Nomentia, a single tool independent of banks, to streamline their payment operations. 
Implementing Nomentia required strategic moves such as ensuring subsidiaries use the same ERP system and connecting with group banks for all payment types. Read about Brita's success with Nomentia here

Brita logo square (USA only)

When implementing a modern payment hub there is no shortage of challenges. Luckily, they can be overcome with forethought, careful planning – and support. 

Payment hub implementation and integration strategies for SMEs

Payment hub implementation and integration strategies for SMEs

Implementing a payment hub to centralize your payment operations can seem like a daunting task, but there’s no reason for dread. With careful planning and consideration of key factors, payment hub implementation will lead to streamlined payment processes and improved efficiency. We had the good fortune of having a seasoned treasury professional to give us the details.  

Roadmap to payment hub implementation success 

Before selecting a payment hub, clearly define your objectives and requirements. It’s good to consider factors such as the volume of transactions, types of payment methods used, integration with existing systems, and scalability for future growth. Understanding your needs will help you choose a solution that aligns with your business goals.  

Money's always tight, so it is essential to choose a payment hub solution that offers enough bang for your buck. Look for providers that understand your needs while providing the necessary payment hub features and functionalities.  

As your business grows, your payment processing needs will evolve too. Selecting a payment hub solution that can scale with your business, accommodating increasing transaction volumes, new payment methods, and expansion into new markets is the best way to future-proof your payment operations. Make sure that your chosen payment hub solution offers scalability without compromising performance or incurring significant additional costs.  

Integration with your existing systems is critical for the seamless adoption of a payment hub, which is why you should prioritize payment hubs that offer easy integration with popular accounting software, ERP systems, and other essential business systems.  

It’s always best to choose a provider that offers pre-built integration and APIs that simplify the integration process and minimize disruption to your operations.  

To make sure your payment operations hit the ground running when your payment hub implementation is ready, follow these steps:

Steps to payment hub implementation success

1. Assess your payment infrastructure 

Payment hub implementation starts with assessing and understanding your current systems, processes, and data flows to see how the payment hub fits in and what integration points are needed. Pay special attention to banks, bank connections and connectivity types that need to be assessed and accounted for. Negotiate with your banks whether they can provide automatic bank statements and at what cost. 

2. Plan your payment hub integration strategy 

Once you know what’s needed you should determine how the payment hub will interface with existing systems like ERP, accounting, and CRM platforms. Seek guidance from experienced partners if needed. 

3. Data migration and system configuration 

Cleanse and prepare data for migration, then configure systems to accommodate new payment processes and workflows. 

4. Testing your payment hub 

Thoroughly test your new payment system to ensure accuracy and identify any issues before going live. 

5. Go live and monitor your payment hub 

Roll out the payment hub to end-users, provide training, and closely monitor system performance and feedback. 

6. Continuous improvement 

Iterate and improve the payment hub based on feedback and evolving needs, ensuring long-term value and efficiency. 

Common payment hub challenges and concerns

SMEs are often concerned about wastage while their opportunities tend to be hampered by limited resources like budget, personnel, and time.  

Pricing models are a key factor when lessening these worries, but it’s equally important to prioritize features that streamline payment processes and reduce manual effort, allowing you to maximize the efficiency of your existing resources, while not jeopardizing security.  

Adopting modern technologies like a payment hub can breed cyber security concerns that need to be addressed. A payment hub solution provider that prioritizes security and compliance, with robust encryption, tokenization, and fraud detection measures in place should be on top of every SMEs list if their security principles are built on technical expertise.  

Experienced payment hub providers who offer comprehensive support and guidance throughout the implementation process should also offer training programs, documentation, and ongoing customer support to help your team gain the necessary skills and knowledge.

Top 7 frequently asked SME payment hub questions

Payment hubs are increasingly becoming essential tools for SMEs looking to streamline their payment processes, improve efficiency, and enhance financial management. While all businesses have their own goals, some questions are universal:

1. What is a payment hub and how does it work?
A payment hub consolidates all payment activities into a single system. Instead of dealing with multiple tools or platforms for different payments SMEs can handle everything from one place. It simplifies payment processes by automating tasks like payment approvals, and reconciliation. With a payment hub, businesses have better visibility into their financial transactions. They can easily track payments, monitor cash flow trends, and generate reports to gain insights into their business finances  
Modern payment hubs are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing accounting or ERP systems. This means minimal disruption to existing workflows and easier access to financial data across different platforms.

We’ve written extensive about how payment hubs work here..
2. What are the benefits of using a payment hub for SMEs?
 We’ve covered payment hub benefits here. In a nutshell, using a payment hub can offer several benefits for small SMEs: 
 
Payment hubs can help SMEs reduce costs associated with payment processing by streamlining payment workflows, automating tasks, and minimizing manual errors, businesses can save money on labor, paper, postage, and other expenses. Payment hubs also come with robust security features that help protect SMEs from fraud and errors.  Read more fraud and error prevention here.
3. How can a payment hub help me streamline SME payment processes?

Payment hubs automate the payment process, which saves time on manual data. Payment hubs also allow SMEs to set up customizable approval workflows for payments, which ensures that payments are reviewed and approved by the appropriate personnel before being processed. 
 
Payment hubs streamline the reconciliation process by automated matching. This saves time on manual reconciliation tasks and reduces the risk of discrepancies in financial records. 

SMEs can also track payments in real-time using a payment hub. This provides visibility into the status of payments, allowing businesses to follow up on overdue invoices or identify any payment issues promptly. 
 
Nomentia Payments allows full customization of payment approval workflows, including straight-through processing or requiring multiple approvals, ensuring superior security. 

4. Are payment hubs compatible with my existing accounting or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?

Modern payment hubs are built with integration capabilities that allow them to seamlessly connect with various systems like ERP software.

They use APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) or pre-built connectors to facilitate data exchange between systems.  You can read more about Nomentia’s integration capabilities here.
 

In cases where a payment hub doesn't have built-in integration with a specific accounting or ERP system, custom integration solutions can be developed.  

Once integrated, payment hubs synchronize data with the accounting or ERP system in real-time or at scheduled intervals. This ensures that payment information, invoices, and financial records are up to date across both systems. 
 
Nomentia can integrate with any ERP system, including SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Sage, NetSuite, and more, via API or SFTP. 

Learn more about Nomentia's intergations here.

5. What are most important payment hub connectivity options for SMEs?

For SMEs, the most important payment hub connectivity options are those that offer flexibility, reliability, and ease of integration.  
 
Application Programming Interface (API) integration allows SMEs to connect their payment hub directly to other software applications they use.

APIs provide a standardized way for different systems to communicate with each other in real-time, enabling seamless data exchange. 
 
Payment hubs should support file-based connectivity options, allowing SMEs to upload payment files in specific formats. While not as real-time as API integrations, file-based connectivity is still valuable for SMEs with batch processing needs or limited integration capabilities. 
 
Direct integrations with banks allow SMEs to initiate payments, reconcile transactions, and view account balances directly within the payment hub interface.

Read more about integrations.

6. How much does a payment hub costs

The costs associated with implementing and using a payment hub for SMEs can vary depending on several factors, including the provider, the features included, transaction volumes, and additional services required.

Some payment hub providers charge a one-time setup fee to onboard your business onto their platform. This fee covers the initial configuration, training, and integration with your existing systems.

Most payment hubs operate on a subscription-based pricing model, where SMEs pay a monthly or annual fee to access the platform. If you require customizations or tailored solutions to meet your specific business needs, you may incur additional fees for development work. Customization fees vary depending on the complexity of the requirements and the time involved in implementing them. Integrating the payment hub with your existing accounting or ERP systems may involve additional costs, particularly if custom integration solutions are required.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch here.

7. What are the key steps of implementing a payment hub?
Implementing a payment hub involves several key steps. Firstly, businesses need to conduct a thorough assessment of their current payment processes and requirements. Then, they should select a suitable payment hub solution and vendor. Once chosen, the implementation process typically includes system configuration, data migration, testing, training, and finally, going live. Post-implementation, ongoing support and optimization are essential. Learn more payment hub implementation here.

The best payment hub for SME

Nomentia

"Extraordinary tool for financial management and payments"

Nomentia stands out as a leading provider of payment hubs, highly regarded by its customers for several key reasons. For over ten years, has offered adaptability, speed, and a deep understanding of industry needs to discerning cash management professionals and treasury teams. What customers like best about Nomentia is its user-friendly interface and comprehensive functionality. As one reviewer mentioned, "Nomentia's intuitive design makes it easy for our team to manage cash effectively." 

One of the standout features of Nomentia is its flexibility. Customers appreciate its ability to cater to individual business needs, whether it's providing payment process transparency or offering custom solutions for payment approval processes. 

Nomentia's modern interface and user-friendly design make it accessible to all users, regardless of their technical expertise. Moreover, Nomentia's cloud-based solution ensures security and connectivity, allowing businesses to manage their finances with confidence. 
 
For SMEs, Nomentia's payment hub is a game-changer. It automates invoices, integrates seamlessly with ERP systems, and centralizes cash management, providing visibility and control over payments and bank accounts. By offering agile banking systems and secure payment processes, Nomentia empowers SMEs to manage their finances efficiently, regardless of their size or complexity. 

Read what customers are saying about Nomentia at G2.

Kyriba

"Kyriba manages the financial treasury between bank and organization"

Kyriba offers a robust treasury management system with several noteworthy features and benefits. Users appreciate its consistent interface across modules and regular product updates, enhancing usability and efficiency. However, there are concerns about the complexity of handling certain account structures, like ZBA, and the system's lack of intuitiveness. 

Despite this, Kyriba excels in providing comprehensive cash flow forecasting capabilities, helping users make informed decisions. Its support, although sometimes slow, is attentive and responsive. The integration capabilities stand out, allowing users to streamline banking activities, enhance security, and improve reporting. 

While Kyriba simplifies managing multiple banking structures and eliminates the need for multiple banking portals, it may require extensive support coordination during implementation, especially for complex business needs. Despite its flexibility, some users find Kyriba less intuitive than desired. 

Overall, Kyriba benefits users by offering visibility into cash positions, reducing risks, and strengthening control and security in treasury activities. Its integration capabilities and efficiency gains make it a valuable asset for treasury teams, despite some usability concerns. 
 

Read what customers are saying about Kyriba at G2.

Agicap

"Valuable tool for our small business" 

Agicap emerges as a powerful tool for clarifying financial situations. Its ability to simulate various business scenarios aids in effective financial forecasting and decision-making. The straightforward onboarding process and minimal ongoing maintenance make it convenient for busy agencies. 

Despite its strengths, Agicap has areas for improvement. Its pricing structure is somewhat opaque, which can be a concern. Additionally, the user interface, though functional, could be more streamlined. However, the software solves financial management challenges by providing real-time insights and scenario simulations, reducing stress, and streamlining financial planning. 

The integration between Agicap's modules enables a complete treasury forecast solution, integrating banking, incoming invoices, spend management, and debt overview. While intuitive and customizable, the pricing structure could be clearer.  

Agicap provides valuable insights into company financials and cash flow, with easy integration into bank accounts and ERP systems. While its user interface can be complicated at times, Agicap enables us to analyze spending, manage cash flow, and make informed decisions for investments and staffing. 

Read what customers are saying about Agicap at G2.

Read more about payment hubs:

 

Request a payment hub demo