Bill Payment Service is Full of Promis

Author: Alexander Kohl
Issue 82

Bill Payment Service is Full of Promis

Imagine that your phone can remind you of any bills due, and allow you to authorise payment with a single click. It also automatically updates your accounting system without manual data entry.

This is the vision that Promis has been working on for the past year. And while the service has been in private beta for eight months, it is finally opening up to businesses and consumers on the Sunshine Coast.

Promis is the brainchild of experienced start-up founder, Alexander Kohl, who has sold one business (after growing it to $15 million within 15 months); built another successful business that employs 30 people, and attracted a team of former colleagues to take on this new project with him.

Co-founders Cameron Lawrence and Brian Keayes bring a wealth of knowledge in building networks and creating design-lead software. Cameron has built and managed a sales team in other start-ups and understands how to represent the fast-changing environment of agile development. Brian has been leading software development teams for large corporate clients such as GJ Gardner Homes.

CREATING VALUE FOR CLIENTS, TEAMS, AND OWNERS

All of us are passionate about simplifying the admin processes for small businesses so that they can really focus on creating value for their clients, their teams, and their owners.

One painful process is paying bills. Usually a bill passes through four or five steps that require human data handling: it is entered in the supplier’s accounting system, emailed (or posted), entered in the client’s accounting system, and entered again in the banking portal - before payment can be received (and has to be entered again by the supplier). So many opportunities for errors and wasted time.

This is just not necessary. In today’s world of connected systems, digital invoice data can be pulled directly from the supplier accounting system and made available to the client where and how they need it.

PROMIS INTEGRATES WITH LEADING ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS

Promis integrates with Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks, Reckon and freshbooks, and is in discussion with SAP and Netsuite to connect these corporate systems to the network. We are also one of the first accredited providers of the new Australian e-invoicing interoperability framework.

One of the most difficult problems to solve was enabling cost effective payments. While credit card payments are great for small amounts, larger bills are much cheaper to pay directly from a bank account. In Europe, it is mandated that all banks allow Fintech providers access to their banking services. In the USA, access is possible at really low costs. But while the technical possibility exists in Australia, regulatory restrictions make it close to impossible to build an easy to use system.

After multiple attempts and many in-depth discussions with Australian banks, regulators and lawyers, Promis has now found an attractive solution that is secure, compliant and user-friendly.

SUNSHINE COAST AS OUR BASE

All of our team members have actively chosen the Sunshine Coast as their home. It is such an amazing place that combines a beautiful environment with great people. During trips to Sydney, Melbourne and even Brisbane, everyone we talk to envies us for these choices.

However, the networks on the Sunshine Coast only reach so far and we have started to explore a more permanent presence at Stone & Chalk, the Sydney Fintech hub. So while we want to keep our base and the development team on the Coast, to become a national and then international player, it seems necessary to expand our physical presence.

As a special gift for Business Matters readers, the Promis team has put together a 20-page booklet on how to systemise and automate your business. It is a collection of the team’s learning about automation.

It highlights the difference between systemisation and automation, and clarifies why it is so important to start with systemisation before automation. Set out as a practical workbook, it has easily implementable steps.

You can download it for free at www.promis.co/bm. We are looking forward to your feedback on Promis and hope that it will gift you back many hours to enjoy the beautiful Sunshine Coast. 

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