billcom_logoBill.com, a startup specializing in software for online bill payment and management, has launched ePayments, a new feature that allows small and mid-sized businesses to pay anyone through direct-deposit money transfers. Now its clients can pay any individual, vendor or employee with any bank with several clicks, the Palo Alto, Calif., company says.

Bill.com claims that companies using digital means to pay bills — especially those that set up automatic payment schedules — are more likely to make payments on time and avoid extra fees and penalties. On the other end of every transaction, those receiving money from companies will have faster, almost immediate access to the funds in question. On top of that, they will save time depositing paper checks, as well as credit card processing fees.

screen_new_lifecycleThe product launch is significant because small and mid-sized businesses have previously had so few options in this area. Those that have paid their bills digitally have usually done it via their banks, which have various limitations regarding who can be paid and how much. Many banks won’t make payments to individuals, a major transaction for businesses that employ a lot of contractors or freelancers. Also important is the amount of money these companies stand to save with a direct deposit service, Bill.com says. In tight economic times, payment-related costs — however small at the time — can add up.

Bill.com is also marketing ePayments as an eco-friendly service, claiming that paperless bill payment could save a company 7.5 pounds of paper, 71 gallons of water, 9.6 gallons of gasoline and 297 pounds of greenhouse gases every year. With more and more companies becoming hyper-vigilant about their environmental footprints, this is a strategy that might sway prospective clients.

Bill.com has taken undisclosed amounts of funding from DCM and Emergence Capital.

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