Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Follow-up on IOFM Payments Summit

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the second IOFM Payments Summit in Baltimore. As detailed in an article in last week's DIR, I left with two major takeaways for our industry from the event, which was attended by 230 people - a 70% increase over attendance at last fall's inaugural Payments Summit. Here is a condensed version of what we wrote (let me know if you'd like to see the full article):
  • Automated EOB capture is very much alive and well in the payment processing space: There was a time when we believed that EOB capture might be the second killer app in the IDR (intelligent document recognition space) behind invoice capture. In the document capture market that idea came and went as ISVs struggled to gain a significant number of installs.

    What many in our industry failed to recognize is that like capturing invoices, capturing EOBs is more than just an OCR/data entry operation. EOBs are part of a healthcare billing process and EOB capture must be addressed as part of that process. Improving payment processing in healthcare through technology is currently a hot market and EOB capture is a part of this. However, it’s often not the traditional ECM players that are supplying these solutions. Rather it’s the payment processing organizations, banks, and lockbox providers (and ISVs that sell to them), that are stepping up because of their experience with receivables.

    That said, I'm not sure how good some of their automated EOB capture technology is, as a lot of it is homegrown by the payment processing ISVs. Clearly, it's better than not using any OCR at all, but when Orbograph's Bryan Bruton told me about the recognition improvements his start-up gained after it was acquired by Orbograph, it got me thinking that there may be opportunity out there for other document recognition specialists to license their EOB capture to some of these payment processing specialists.
  • Payment processing organizations are struggling with the increasing trend toward electronic payments:  The general consensus is that it is the easier-to-process payments, like utility bills, that are moving online first, but there is also a desire by organizations to utilize imagng on a greater variety of documents. The result a dichotomy in the payments market as related to imaging. On one side, paper payments are decreasing. On the other side, more organizations than ever are recognizing the value in digitizing their transactional documents as soon as possible to transition from paper to electronic workflows. So, while imaging of traditional remittance payments may be on the decline, imaging in general is on the upswing. And payment processors that can address a greater variety of imaging applications, including full page capture and workflow, appear to be emerging as the winners--which represents another opportunity for traditional document capture vendors to sell into the payments processing space.



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