B2B Payments

Amazon Business Makes Its UK Debut

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Amazon Business, Amazon’s B2B procurement unit, is launching in the U.K.

The company announced this week that it will enter the U.K.’s B2B eCommerce market with a focus on SMEs, multinational companies, hospitals, nonprofits and universities. The services launched yesterday (April 4).

According to reports, the nation’s B2B eCommerce market was worth $120 billion in 2015 alone, based on data from the Office for National Statistics. Bill Burkland, who will head Amazon Business U.K., said the online marketplace will offer more than 100 million products and include other services including reporting and analytics and spend management.

“Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a chief procurement officer in a large multinational organization, Amazon Business has the products and capabilities to serve your needs,” Burkland said in a statement. “Amazon Business combines more than 100 million business products with a new set of unique business features — from reporting and analytics to spending limits and purchasing workflow approvals — making it everything you love about Amazon, now for business.”

The launch of Amazon Business in the U.K. coincided with an announcement from Visa and four top banks in the nation revealing their collaboration with Amazon to propel the B2B venture. Visa and the banks will provide an expense management solution that integrates into the Amazon Business platform.

Barclaycard, Citi, HSBC and Lloyds Bank U.K. are participating in the collaboration and will provide line-item details on purchases made on Amazon Business by companies using their commercial cards. The data will be used for spend management and reconciliation purposes, according to reports.

“By bringing together data from Amazon Business purchases and Visa’s processing in collaboration with our bank partners, we will ultimately help our U.K. commercial account holders spend less time reconciling their purchases, giving them more time to spend on their businesses,” said Kevin Jenkins, regional managing director, U.K. and Ireland at Visa, in a statement.

Amazon Business’ U.K. services will provide VAT-exclusive pricing and invoicing, the firm said. Purchases made on the platform will provide an option to buyers to include purchase order numbers to their orders.

“Amazon Business will make life much easier for HSBC’s commercial cardholders,” said the bank’s regional head of global liquidity and cash management Europe, Eddie Norton, in another statement. “Purchases made using an HSBC Visa Corporate and Purchasing Card will enable enhanced transaction data such as purchase order numbers, unit costs and tax breakdown to be included in their card statements. This additional information will improve invoice reconciliation and allow full integration into companies’ own accounting systems.”

Amazon Business first launched in the U.S. in 2015.

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