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Virtual IBAN: The new ally for accounting departments

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Since the 1990s, payment by credit transfer has accounted for the majority of business-to-business transactions. The use of the traditional IBAN has therefore become essential for making account-to-account payments. However, in today’s digitalized environment, companies’ expectations have changed considerably.

On a day-to-day basis, accounting and finance departments, which manage a multitude of incoming payment flows, can find it difficult to identify and reconcile customer payments, especially credit transfer payments (errors in amount, references, etc.).

So how do you improve the bank reconciliation process for transfer payments, without changing the habits of customers who have been using this method of payment for decades? This is the problem to which the virtual IBAN provides a solid answer. More agile than the traditional IBAN, it can be multiplied and integrated into any customer account management system to simplify accounting reconciliation tasks.

How do you set it up? Who is it for? What are the benefits? Discover the virtual IBAN.

What are virtual IBANs?

Virtual IBANs are similar in form to classic IBANs, the main differences being the flexibility with which they can be created and their ability to be assigned to an accounting object such as a “customer” or an “invoice”. They can be described as secondary IBANs, organized in the form of “drawers” under the account’s main IBAN.

In this way, the company creates a segmentation of account receipts by customer or by project, making it much easier to read receivables and even automating bank reconciliation processes.

This way, even if the amount is different or the transfer reference is forgotten, the payment sender can be identified every time, simplifying the task of the teams in charge of accounting reconciliation!

How do I use it?

When you set up your payment account, CentralPay assigns you a master IBAN virtual. You can then create and assign dedicated secondary IBAN virtual numbers to each of your “customers” or “payment requests”, and choose which one to present when sending a request for payment by transfer:

➡️ Use your generic IBAN: This first “standard” option consists of having your payment made directly to your main virtual IBAN, i.e. that of your CentralPay payment account.

➡️ Create virtual IBANs dedicated to each of your customers: Generating permanent virtual IBANs for your customers facilitates their recognition at the time of each payment. Since they always pay on the same IBAN, the funds are automatically associated with their customer profile.

➡️ Create virtual IBANs for each of your payment requests: With virtual IBANs associated with payment requests (invoices), each transfer will be automatically associated with the object in question in the CentralPay environment. They will also be automatically associated with the invoice reference number, facilitating accounting reconciliation.

How can I get paid with a virtual IBAN?

Virtual IBANs can be integrated into your payment links or displayed directly on your invoices.

To do this, simply import them into your billing tool. Your generated invoices will natively include a CentralPay virtual IBAN in the payment slip, enabling you to identify 100% of your incoming transfers.

Your customers won’t even have to change their habits!

For whom?

The use of the virtual IBAN simplifies the process for 3 entities:

  1. Payers, who no longer need to identify themselves, make payments in a matter of seconds, with no input errors.
  2. Invoice-issuing solutions retrieve real-time information on payments, enabling them to automate reconciliation and manage more effective customer reminders, with no risk of error.
  3. Beneficiary companies, who receive all their payments on the same account, already lettered, and notified in real time.

With virtual IBANs, you can enrich your invoices with services to improve the customer settlement process and simplify your accounting reconciliation tasks.

Diagram of how a dematerialized invoice works, with payment link and virtual IBAN

Would you like to develop payment by bank transfer in your business? CentralPay virtual IBANs are made for you!