PYMNTS, SAP To Challenge B2B Payments Innovators

Shutterstock and SAP are teaming up to promote innovation in B2B payments.

Announced Tuesday (Mar. 7), PYMNTS and SAP are rolling out the Payments2CashFlow Challenge, a chance for a few select developers to create new solutions in the world of B2B payments.

Those developers will have access to technology from the SAP Cloud Platform and access to SAP developer tools and other resources. This is an unprecedented opportunity for developers, PYMNTS and SAP said, and one that will link them to experts at PYMNTS, SAP Cloud Platform and Ariba.

“The Payments2CashFlow Challenge is a great program to give developers a chance to tackle real-world payments problems that are being encountered by organizations of all types,” said SAP North America Chief Innovation Officer Marty Mrugal in a statement announcing the challenge. “We’re pleased to partner with PYMNTS to provide challenge participants access to our tools and the expertise we’ve gained from helping companies simplify a range of business processes to unlock competitive advantage.”

PYMNTS and SAP have identified four key pain points experienced by enterprises today when dealing with B2B payments: making working capital smarter, dynamic payments optimization, supply chain payments optimization and creating a trusted supplier identity.

These are the areas in which developers are invited to innovate and disrupt the corporate payments space, one ripe for an overhaul but still plagued by manual processes and siloes. Innovators should be exploring how new B2B payment solutions can address issues like boosting visibility into cash flow, finding middle ground between buyers and suppliers, taking advantage of technologies like data analytics to streamline payments throughout the entire supply chain, and exploring new business models to enhance the buyer-supplier relationship. CEO Karen Webster said the five-week Challenge will offer a chance for innovators to focus on these largest pain points of enterprise payers.

“What I love about this challenge is that it is so focused on what enterprise customers say they want and need,” she said. “It offers enough structure so that teams know what they’re shooting for, but enough degrees of freedom to enable creative solutions. Kudos to SAP for taking this step — and we are really excited by this collaboration.”

The Challenge launches Apr. 5. Developers are invited to submit their proposed solutions to participate no later than Mar. 31, though the submissions sent before Mar. 13 will have priority status and an invite to the Innovation Project 2017, held on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. There, developers can meet their team mentors.

Developers can file their submissions and learn more about the challenge by visiting the Payments2CashFlow Challenge website.