Barclaycard and SAP team for supply chain virtual cards

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Virtual cards are showing potential to streamline business transactions, attracting a business payment collaboration between Barclaycard and SAP.

Barclaycard Commercial Payments and the SAP Ariba B2B marketplace have agreed to include Barclaycard's virtual card Precisionpay product into the Ariba network later this year.

The Precisionpay Bank Transfer card will be the first Barclaycard product in the launch with Ariba Network, setting the stage for procurement and payment to occur on the network.
The virtual card will help buyers pay suppliers much earlier in the procurement cycle, thus allowing them to take advantage of any available payment discounts. Virtual cards have become more popular since cards can be specified for each purchase — effectively establishing its own form of tokenization.

"Barclaycard is a long-term strategic partner for SAP and we're now taking the partnership to the next level by collectively redefining the corporate payments market with a highly innovative platform," Jens Amail, managing director of SAP in the U.K and Ireland, said in a Friday press release.

"The introduction of early settlement flexibility will truly revolutionize the industry and bring so much more value to Barclaycard customers," Amail added.

The companies view the addition of Precisionpay virtual cards and its prompt payments as a way to help streamline the timely and cumbersome process of paying suppliers by uploading voices, gong through an approval process, manual checks and other sometimes unforeseen steps.

Barclaycard has positioned Precisionpay as a virtual card for employees to use for purchases and payments under company control, with the issuing of the cards specific to each payment or booking.

It also offers Precisionpay Connect as a way to make purchases from strategic suppliers directly through catalogue systems. In that process, Precisionpay is connected to the buying system or portal using a standard application programming identifier.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Ariba was acquired by SAP in 2012 and launched its new SAP Ariba brand and B2B marketplace network three years ago.

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