Small business payment management service ZenCash launches Monday, hoping to help startups and freelancers get paid on time.
“ZenCash helps you manage your payment plan of attack and manages the plan for you,” said ZenCash founder Brandon Cotter in an interview with VentureBeat, “[With ZenCash] you don’t have to be the bad guy, you can let someone else do the dirty work.”
Startup owners and freelancers usually rely heavily on payments from their customers and clients to keep themselves in the black. ZenCash founder Brandon Cotter found that many startups and freelancers he talked to were encountering problems with getting paid, so he sought to do something about it.
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ZenCash offers services that reward clients for making payments and go after those that don’t. The company will send out thank you notes and/or gift cards to customers who process payments on time. For customers who delay payment, ZenCash will make phone calls, send letters, and eventually send your dispute to a collections agency on your behalf. Each service has a price attached to it, and you pay per phone call or email sent out. If your invoice has to go to a collections agency, ZenCash takes a percentage cut of the payment amount.
The service integrates with existing accounting software such as Clio, Harvest, and QuickBooks. ZenCash accounts are free for now, but because Intuit charges for access to the QuickBooks API, the company may charge a subscription fee in the future.
Cotter started ZenCash because as a business owner, he found it a hassle to devote time to resolving payment disputes. He also realized that many businesses want to maintain positive relationships with clients and didn’t want to get involved with payment disputes and collections calls.
ZenCash faces competition from accounting services such as Freshbooks that can send out payment reminder emails. Freelancers can get support from sites such as Elance, which will facilitate payment disputes between contractors and clients. And of course, startups can make calls, send out thank you cards, and contact collections agencies themselves.
The company’s founders have invested $500,000 to launch the company. ZenCash is made up of a team of six, scattered across the U.S. and Europe. Its main headquarters is in Dallas, Texas.