Optal, Open ECX Move To Streamline Construction AP


Corporate payments company Optal struck a new partnership to streamline B2B payments in the construction sector.

Reports Wednesday (Jan. 18) said Optal is collaborating with Open ECX, a digital transaction platform for the construction industry, via its WebContractor tool. Optal will implement its payment solution onto WebContractor to accelerate and streamline B2B payments for the industry, the companies said in their announcement, making for more efficient payments to subcontractors.

Their partnership means companies can pay their subcontractors within invoice payment terms, while remaining compliant with the U.K. Construction Act, legislation that enforces contract adherence and fairer payments for the industry.

Recent analysis from Bibby Financial Services found the U.K. construction space to be particularly challenged by B2B payment practices, with 55 percent of subcontractors in the space reporting feeling powerless to enforce their payment terms with larger construction firms.

“WebContractor is designed to tackle the problems construction businesses face with effective subcontractor management, using technology to ease the burden of U.K. Construction Act compliance, enhancing financial visibility and building stronger relationships with the supply chain,” said Open ECX CEO Matthew Jones in a statement. “Our partnership with Optal will add an extra dimension to the capabilities of WebContractor, with easy payment functionality incorporated directly into the supply chain process.”

The executive added that construction companies can realize cost savings through a more digital and streamlined payment process thanks to “reduced administration, a major reduction in contractor bank charges for payment costs … [and] no need to maintain supplier bank details.”

In another statement, Optal U.K. General Manager Andy Downes said construction is a critical component of the U.K. economy, but payment service providers haven’t adequately addressed the space.

“Our partnership with Open ECX has allowed us to develop a solution designed specifically for this industry,” Downes stated. “One which allows low-risk, secure card payment transactions to be directly linked to invoice details, providing fully automated reconciliation for both the construction firm and the subcontractor.”