Visa, Billtrust make a list of payment tech-friendly B2B suppliers

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Visa and Billtrust are pressuring businesses to embrace automation by developing a directory of suppliers who accept digital payments.

The Billtrust Business Payments Network builds on an existing collaboration and is designed to encourage buyers and financial institutions to more often automate historically complex B2B payments by knowing who prefers electronic payments — and making those payments directly from the network portal.

“As businesses evolve, digital payments will play an increasingly important role in B2B commerce,” Kevin Phalen, global head of Visa Business Solutions, said in a Monday press release. “Collaborating with Billtrust will allow us to improve the experience for suppliers on the receiving end of the payment, while enabling our financial institution clients to streamline the B2B payments process for their corporate customers and provide a better way for buyers and suppliers to realize the benefits that digital payments provide.”
The companies hope BPN makes it easier to increase efficiencies, improve security and lower costs associated with processing B2B payments — without significant changes to existing infrastructure.

The network will provide a connected platform for suppliers, buyers, financial institutions and accounts payable and receivable software providers, in addition to the online directory of participating suppliers and their payment acceptance preferences.

Corporate buyers and financial institutions can deliver digital payments directly to suppliers' acceptance platforms, while including the financial and payment data for streamlined reconciliation to suppliers and buyers.

“Today, suppliers have to balance their own payment preferences with the preferences of their customers’ accounts payable departments — and those two preferences don’t always sync up,” Flint Lane, CEO of Billtrust, said in the release. “BPN is designed to close the loop on the electronic payment cycle in a more transparent and secure way to more closely replicate the way consumers today pay and get paid, quickly, simply and seamlessly.”

In 2017, Visa and Billtrust announced a strategic relationship intended to support growth in B2B payments through the integration of Billtrust’s Virtual Card Capture and Visa’s Straight Through Processing solution.

“There is a great deal of momentum now building around the digitalization of corporate financial processes to improve cash cycle control and performance, leading to reduced cost and risk, along with gaining more strategic insight using captured transaction data as an analytic base,” Steve Murphy, research director at Mercator Advisory Group, said in the release. "This collaboration between Visa and Billtrust, using a digital platform and business network approach, is great way for companies to accelerate their financial process modernization via a supplier-centric approach.”

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B-to-B payments Digital payments Visa