In what is potentially a big win for Software-as-a-Service accounting startup KashFlow, Barclaycard is inviting its business customers to join an e-invoicing pilot powered by the London-based company’s wares.
According to an email that has been circulated by Barclaycard that we’ve seen, the credit card company, which is owned by UK bank Barclays, is inviting merchants to apply on a first come first served basis with the pilot scheme being limited to 100 places. This would seem to indicate that Barclaycard is taking a somewhat cautious approach, although we understand it to be the first time that a major bank has backed an SaaS accounting package from a UK tech start-up.
We’ve reached out to KashFlow who have confirmed the existence of the pilot but declined to give further details. However, here’s what else we do know.
In its circular, Barclays is pitching the offering to end users as “an exciting new service that will make it easier for small businesses to manage their invoicing process.” It will let SMEs do things like create, send and manage their invoices via a web browser, track overdue payments and, optionally, receive payments online via Barclaycard’s payment gateway. This is, of course, also where Barclays generates revenue, charging a 3% transaction fee for invoices paid this way.
As for KashFlow itself, the email makes mention that the company usually charges £15.99 + VAT a month for its service but that Barclaycard is “waiving” the charge for pilot merchants. It’s likely that in turn KashFlow is doing the same. The accompanying FAQs also makes clear that the startup will be responsible for all customer support relating to the e-invoicing service, aside from transactions.
Moving forward, Barclaycard is telling customers that once the pilot is completed (it could run for as long as 12 months) the intention is to launch a full e-invoicing service, which at this stage looks like it will be powered by KashFlow, a 12-person company with a turnover of just £1m. That’s certainly punching above its weight when compared to traditional incumbents in the accounting software space, such as the FTSE100 giant Sage with whom KashFlow has had its fair share of run-ins.