October 11, 2022
Hash Entertainment is an influencer marketing, live-stream commerce and entertainment agency. One of Indonesia's fastest-growing new media brands, they help clients engage and activate audiences with high-quality content that fuels rapid growth.
When live-streaming took off during the pandemic, Hash Entertainment saw the perfect opportunity to launch their e-commerce live-stream business unit. When the new division launched at the beginning of 2022, it caught traction quickly. However, as they expanded their portfolio, payment transactions to vendors increased in tandem. In their search for an effective and efficient way to handle payment, they stumbled upon Brick.
The work of an agency requires working with multiple parties on a project. That creates the need to transfer payments to vendors and partners with accounts in different banks. Fabian, the chief operating officer of Hash Entertainment, shared.
“It’s a common constraint that we cannot do bank transfers to another bank. Holding multiple bank accounts is not a good solution for a company like us because it increases operational complexity.”
And even when they accept a higher fee for interbank remittance, the process is manual, time-consuming and tedious.
“Manual processing is a big pain for us. First, we have to check individual entries to verify correctness before every transaction. But when we make a mistake inevitably, the bank rejects the submission, and we have to go through the list to find where the mistake is,” he added.
Adding fuel to the fire is an unstable internet connection, threatening their entire afternoon's worth of work. Fabian recalled,
“There were a few occasions that our network lost connection after we had finished keying in the details for all our transfers. We refreshed the page, and everything was gone, so we had to do it again. It was upsetting.”
As they took on more projects with the new live-stream hosting business unit, transaction fees became a noticeable expense on their balance sheet.
“Our transactions increased sixfold this year, and fees shot up exponentially. So we realised that to keep up with our current growth rate, we have to look at other options available in the market,” he shared.
After a quick demonstration of Brick’s payment system, Fabian is convinced it is the solution he has been looking for.
Brick's ability to make payments to different banks is the first thing that stood out to Hash. With extensive coverage and partnership with most banks and e-wallets in Indonesia, their vendor’s banking status is no longer a concern.
However, the star of the show for Fabian would be bulk disbursement because the days of manual data entry and checks are over. Fabian commented,
“I only have to verify the list of vendors we need to pay before uploading the CSV file. Brick takes care of the rest. The checking mechanism is handy. When we inevitably key in the wrong bank code, Brick’s system detects it before the transfer and suggests the right one. It saves us from the frustrations of digging through a huge list that we used to dread every week.”
Fabian was surprised with the swift application with Brick, as financial institutions are known for having a lengthy approval process. The onboarding session was subsequently arranged, and he was up and running, paying vendors within the week.
“It is one of the quickest application approval processes I have experienced with financial products. It only took a few days after I sent the documents they required. The rates I get from them are much better as well. We used to pay for every mistake we made with our bank literally. With Brick, we don’t have to pay for a failed payment or if there’s an error”, he recalled.
Having had the experience with the customer support personnel at banks, Brick was a breath of fresh air for Hash Entertainment. Fabian was incredibly impressed with the responsiveness and timeliness of the team. He shared,
“The team created a WhatsApp group post onboarding, and they have been very effective in helping to solve problems. They answer almost immediately to any questions, even on weekends! I would have to wait hours on the phone if I were even to ask one question if I’m still using a bank.”
Healthy cash flow is paramount for growth with a media agency like Hash Entertainment because of payment period differences between clients and vendors. Fabian is glad he finally drove transaction expenses down, saving approximately 60% after using Brick. He revealed,
“For us, cash flow is a growth enabler. So I am thrilled that we can save every dollar we didn’t have to spend. Not having to pay for failed transactions makes a huge difference. And with Brick’s fair pricing, we can now look at taking up more projects in different sizes.”
The disbursement process that used to take up a few hours each week now takes 10 to 15 minutes. Fabian reckons they saved approximately six to eight hours every month. He can feel the difference when he walks into his office now. He shares,
“We pay our vendors at the end of every week. Because of Brick, we no longer have “Friday blue” caused by repetitive and stressful transaction checks. Our productivity accelerates when the team is happier, and you can feel it in the air.”
The team can now use the hours they saved each week towards strategising for new campaigns.
There was also a bonus advantage Fabian did not expect to benefit from. He explained that vendors now view them as a trusted partner because of their reliable weekly payments. They also no longer receive inquiries about late and rejected payments.
“We are pleased that our vendors see us as their trusted partner, and they are sure to get their weekly earnings when they work with Hash. In addition, they know if they raise issues, it will be resolved quickly because we have immediate transfer capabilities with Brick.”
When asked if he would recommend Brick, Fabian responded quickly, “Without a doubt, yes”. He shared with a laugh,
“Brick makes life more convenient for us. I have already recommended them to my network of friends running Startups. I made sure they say it’s a recommendation from me so I can hopefully get a discount from Brick in the future.”
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