B2B Payments

B2B’s Bottom Line, Improved By Virtual Cards

Still mired in paper checks, B2B transactions can get a boost from technology-driven, seamless processes. Bottomline Tech has paired with Mastercard to offer the latter’s virtual card tools, improving cash flow, as Bottomline GM Jessica Moran explains.

The B2B arena is rife with less-than-efficient payments processes. And where there are inefficiencies in payments, cash flow is not as rich as it might be otherwise.

In an announcement last week, Bottomline Technologies said it is integrating Mastercard In Control for Commercial Payments into its own Paymode-X platform geared toward payments. The new initiative, said Bottomline in a statement, allows for additional payment options across B2B transactions.

Jessica Moran, general manager of cloud payment solutions at Bottomline, told PYMNTS in a phone interview that these new payment options help solve the bottlenecks in payments that exist as so many B2B transactions “are still reliant on paper checks” — in fact, 51 percent of businesses rely on checks to get transactions done. And with paper checks, she said, the potential for fraud remains strong. Virtual payments, with streamlined processing, can allow the payments process to help boost profits, rather than become a cost center, said Moran.

Initially being rolled out in the United States and Canada, the integration with Mastercard focuses on allowing supplier card payments to work with ACH (Paymode-X’s network extends across 330,000 members globally). That works well, said Moran, with large payments (especially in volume) across industries, such as health care and insurance, and helps integrate disparate payments (and documentation attached to disparate payments across card, ACH, wire and checks) into one concrete file. All of this, said Moran, comes across a closed-loop system and, as ACH gears up toward a multi-phased move toward same-day payments, initially across credit and then across debit functions.

Moran noted that the connection with the Mastercard In Control technology also operates in conjunction with the Paymode-X Intelligent Engagement Model, which helps firms find the optimal vendors for their business, as Paymode-X helps automate ACH enrollment and bank account maintenance and thus can streamline the accounts payable function and realize cash flow maximization, in part, through rebates.

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