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Automated payments to aid life saving drones

Industry supply chains are more critical and at risk than ever before due to the crisis. When the product being delivered is life saving medical equipment helping those impacted from COVID-19, the supply chain cannot risk any barriers.

Zipline is the world’s largest drone delivery network, transporting such equipment across the world, including remote locations not easily accessible by other means of transport. Facing payment issues causing significant delays, from having to manage transactions from multiple countries Zipline collaborated with Tipalti, a US FinTech automating payment processes.

We spoke to Zipline and Tipalti on how this collaboration resulted in a 75% reduction in workload and most importantly allowing for the delivery of medical equipment to be as efficient as possible.

Check out our video interview with above Robert Israch, Chief Marketing Officer & Alliance from Tipalti and our written interview below with David Wong, Head of Finance at Zipline

Q. Can you briefly introduce yourself, your company and your FinTech Fightback story?

Zipline is the world’s largest drone delivery network. We make critical and lifesaving medical deliveries to people in need. We’ve flown over 1 million miles to deliver more than 100,000 vaccines, units of blood and medical products and are contracted to serve thousands of health facilities across multiples countries serving millions of people.

Q. What was the biggest challenge you had to tackle on this journey?

The process was extremely manual, which created delays in payments. For Zipline, delays in payments directly equate to delays in production.

For finance to successfully scale without adding significant headcount in each new country, We needed to centralize the entire function and build infrastructures that could efficiently operate.

We wanted our operations to advance in new countries without the headache of payments. We needed to accommodate as many payment terms and currencies as possible without much manual processing.

There were three significant challenges that the finance team faced: an inefficient invoice approval process, lengthy data reconciliation, and a lack of audit trail and internal controls. With these in mind, we knew we needed an automation solution built for volume and reach.

Q. Could you briefly describe the FinTech technology you are leveraging and how the backend works?

The FinTech technology we use, Tipalti, has saved our team a significant amount of time. The finance team was able to reduce its payments workload by 75 percent. Plus, they were now fully able to streamline their integration with existing ERP systems.

Other complexities such as multiple entities and currencies, PO matching, and customizable fields are critical to our operations. The Company continues to focus on analyzing what we have spent and how we can optimize, and Tipalti helps us with that. We want finance to be a real partner to the company, in that, every single penny should be spent in an efficient and effective manner.

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