Versapay moves forward with new C-suite team

Versapay, which specializes in accounts receivable and payment processing software, is reassessing and renewing its strategy after appointing a new CEO last year. The Miami-based company, backed by private equity firm Great Hill Partners, has North American niches in commercial real estate, construction, distribution and manufacturing. Versapay has focused primarily on the middle market, which it considers companies with annual recurring revenues of about $50 million to $1 billion. Versapay CEO Cary O’Connor Kolaja, who was appointed to her role last year, explained in a recent interview how the company is positioning itself after appointing a new chief product officer and a new director of payments and customer operations. While Versapay has primarily operated in the business-to-business space, it is also considering business-to-consumer opportunities, she said.

Editor’s note: The following interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

PAY DECREE: A key question surrounding executive appointments is: Are they related to a strategic change in the company?

CAREY O’CONNOR DRAWING: We’re dealing with a very complex problem, as you know, touching money in any business becomes paramount and making sure it gets to the right people at the right time. Bringing in people who have been in the industry for years, who are thinking about this problem differently, and then raising the level of knowledge from within is really key to what I want to do in the next two to three years.

So what strategic changes might this entail?

Currently, our main focus is North America. Cross-border and international expansion is the foundation of any company to attract new customers. This is an opportunity for us.

Which new markets would you like to explore first?

I’m going to hold off on that question. We still have some work to do. But I will say in parallel that we’re a company that’s done a lot of B2B, but we’ve also done a little bit of B2B2C. We’re thinking about where we can unlock value, more in B2B versus B2B2C, and in which verticals. We’ve had great success in verticals that are a little bit slower on that digital journey, but understand the value of what digital means, especially their back office and the CFO’s office. And if you look at the portfolio of stocks in those verticals, we have a lot of expansion that we can pursue, and that’s before we open it up to other verticals.

Versapay is somewhat in the retail market. Do you see the business doubling there?

I would say it’s not realistic that we think we’re going to be able to compete at the pace of some of the other big B2C providers. I still want to serve our customers. I think omnichannel matters and we need to be able to provide an omnichannel experience, especially for verticals that do more online and offline. But we’re not going to try to compete with Adyen, Stripe, Paypal or Checkout. Not that I don’t think there’s room for improvement across all of those players, but our singular focus is going to be on verticals that we think are on that digital journey, that understand the value of backend efficiencies, that really address B2B and are in the mid-market.

Versapay is serving some larger companies under its 2022 strategy. DadeSystems AcquisitionBut how else could a company consider expanding beyond its optimal mid-market segment?

We’ve moved into the lower market as well as the higher market. You don’t want to leave contracts on the table, and we want to serve our customers. But at the same time, we know that as we move into the lower market, into the small and mid-market, we’re going to do it through partnerships, like our announcement that we made about NetSuite payments, where it’s an automated onboarding and maintenance flow, because the cost structures of serving the lower market, without the use of automation, are beneficial to every company. So we’re very, very deliberate about when we move beyond our mid-market, who we move beyond the mid-market with, and how we do that through partnerships.

Will Versapay ever offer retail payment services as well?

“That’s a good question. I’m sure, but you can never say never. Our goal is not to offer pay accounts as a unique solution. We work with pay account providers so that we can close the circle. So pay accounts, that’s a space for us where you haven’t seen much growth. There aren’t many players, especially in the mid-market segment, but there’s a huge problem to solve.

How do you assess the global trend towards real-time payments, including the Federal Reserve’s new instant payments solution FedNow launched last year?

You’re asking someone who’s been in the payments industry for 25 to 30 years, looking at global regulatory changes and different types of payment instruments. So do I think offering real-time payments 24/7 is a necessity? Absolutely. I think the flow of money, to make sure people have access to money when they need it and how they need it, is important. We’ve seen other countries lead the way with great success in that regard. And I think the United States needs to be on that same playing field.

Is there anything we haven’t talked about yet that is an important topic of discussion in the industry?