Cloud-based accounting firm, Xero has unveiled two new payments features that it says will help UK small businesses save time and have greater control over their cash flow.

The first is a new bill payments tool that offers a way to manage, approve and pay bills without leaving the Xero platform. The feature, which will be available to eligible customers at the end of the month, is seeking to help small businesses and their advisors save time on everyday administrative tasks.

Through the tool, users can set up a direct bank transfer as a payment method for bills as well as use open banking to quickly batch pay multiple bills from their bank account.

To enable this service, Xero is partnering with financial services provider Crezco to facilitate the open banking payment services. The company said it will be the first major small business cloud accounting software in the UK to offer on-platform bill payments using open banking.

“Paying bills is crucial for cash flow, but it’s still a very manual process for many small business owners. With our bill payments feature, small businesses can avoid manual bank transfers, funding external wallets and accounts or entering credit card details. It’s all about making life easier and saving time on everyday admin,” said Jo Copestake, UK Sales Director, Xero.

The next billing revolution?

Additionally, Xero has unveiled eInvoicing which it has hailed as the next big billing revolution. Starting with the ability to receive eInvoices., eInvoicing uses the Peppol network to enable the electronic real-time delivery of invoices between small businesses and their trading partners.

“eInvoicing will be a powerful new tool for businesses to make their payment process much more efficient. It’s a faster and safer way to send and receive invoices – it’s automated, and it removes the need to create paper or PDF invoices, as well as the process of scanning, emailing and manually entering them,” Copestake said.

“We expect that eInvoicing will eventually become a global best practice standard and a natural part of the cloud accounting process. As adoption continues to grow around the world, we’ll continue building a seamless eInvoicing experience in Xero for our customers,” he added.


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