Mastercard is once again expanding its presence in the B2B payments market, this time in the Asia Pacific region.
A partnership with Eko-Pay, announced Thursday (March 16), will see the launch of Eko-B2B across APAC. The solution integrates with Mastercard’s inControl platform to automate accounts payable. In their announcement, the companies cited research from McKinsey that found B2B payments across Asia Pacific are still largely manual, with 90 percent of transactions conducted in cash.
“Many businesses today, regardless of size, engage with a network of suppliers and across multiple markets as they look to not just survive, but thrive in a global marketplace,” said Mastercard’s Senior Vice President of Acceptance and Merchant Development in Asia Pacific, Nagesh Devata, in a statement. “Yet many businesses still rely on heavily traditional, non-digital forms of payments to process business transactions, resulting in wasted time and resources unnecessarily. For businesses that have adopted digital payment solutions, they often face resistance and challenges from their supplier network and vendors in implementing these new processes.”
“By partnering with Eko-Pay to launch a fully automated solution that allows them to experience the enhanced efficiencies and real-time cost savings of using digital payment solutions, we are looking to solve for some of these key pain points,” the executive continued.
Eko-B2B will provide online portals for both buyers and suppliers for both ends of a transaction to gain visibility into a payment; these platforms will also provide key business statistics, the firms said. The solution will also look to streamline the onboarding process for businesses to pay using cards and for suppliers to accept card payments.
“Eko-Pay is very pleased to partner with Mastercard on this solution that bridges a critical gap in the B2B payment environment,” said Eko-Pay Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pierre Gagnon in another statement. “The entire platform was designed with simplicity in mind to allow for rapid adoption through local and international business networks and [to] provide a long tail acceptance enablement solution.”
Mastercard has taken several steps in recent weeks to strengthen its presence in B2B payments and to promote card acceptance among B2B suppliers.
Earlier this month, the conglomerate partnered with Adflex to promote the use of cards in B2B payments across the U.K., launching a Supplier Onboarding Service. In February, the company linked with Doha Bank in Qatar to create a payroll card solution for corporate clients of the bank; and prior to that, Mastercard partnered with Swipezoom in the United Arab Emirates to develop a B2B payments and invoice management solution.