An interesting article in FinLedger poses the question, “Where are all the Platform plays in fintech?” At Zact, we read the article with delight—after all, from the outset, our vision was exactly that: to build the premiere platform in Expense and Payments Management. We discovered through painful experience that point solutions, while potentially powerful, often create more problems than they solve.
When we say platform, we mean a core payments and expense infrastructure that supports an ecosystem of innovation that ultimately serves the customer and their customers alike. Built on this platform, Zact can easily and seamlessly deliver several integrated solutions in the expense and payments space: expense management, accounting system integration, fleet, bill-pay, family cards, etc. Not only is Zact continuing to develop its own apps, but their platform supports an ever-growing list of third-party apps, like ITILITE(for business travel), creating a “better together” story.
Point solutions are naturally built for specific problems. Take Expense Management: In the standard formulation, employees who spend money for the company use either their own or corporate-issued credit cards to incur business expenses; after which, they fill out and submit an expense report. All of this can be done via a standalone Expense solution. But there are almost too many pitfalls to count. From lengthy delays to fraud, from lack of visibility into expenses to lack of integration into accounting systems—the notion of a stand-alone solution may seem attractive but falters when considering the larger picture.
Embarking on the platform journey was making the hard decision—Development cycles are longer as building a long-term, sustainable, and comprehensive architecture requires you to consider the flow of payments and expenses to and from all corners of a company. We need to always have a global view of the company in mind, without the luxury of myopically focusing on one problem to the detriment of all others. The hard decisions, though, payoff in better customer experiences. The single greatest testament to the importance of this journey has been our customers’ delight when they realize the time, effort, and money saved by the Zact platform and understand that we are helping them future proof their operations.
We are proud of the value we provide, and we expect that as we introduce more and more solutions into companies’ payment and expense ecosystem, it will only get better. It really is all about the platform.