B2B Payments

NACHA Buys B2B Payments Directory

NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association, announced Monday (Oct. 1) that the Business Payments Directory Association (BPDA) will become an independent, member-led, self-governed group under the NACHA organization.

In a press release, NACHA said that the partnership will align the efforts with both organizations to facilitate business-to-business (B2B) payments through development and deployment of a B2B payments and remittance directory. According to NACHA, in August of this year, the Business Payments Directory Association, in a partnership with Discover Financial Services, started work on a proof of concept platform for a B2B Directory that is built on blockchain technology. The alliance is aimed at helping support and advance proof of concept efforts.

“Historically, B2B payments have been a challenge for the financial services industry,” said Jane Larimer, chief operating officer for NACHA. “Businesses are often consumed with onboarding vendors, obtaining and maintaining accurate payment information and ensuring the proper remittance is included for cash applications. As a strategic initiative, NACHA works to enable solutions that will support the easy routing, posting, and application of ACH and other payments, particularly in the B2B environment. Aligning with [the] BPDA will allow us to develop and deliver such a solution, leveraging [its] recognized work and expertise.”

According to NACHA, the B2B directory will be structured as a network of credentialed service provider “sub-directories,” in which trusted and validated payee information will be stored. Credentialed service providers will allow access to the stored electronic payment information, including ACH payment details and other payment methods. Payers can query the directory to obtain information for a single payee or multiple payees, and payees can manage their information in real time to ensure payment details are current. The platform will rely on open source technologies, blockchain/distributed ledger technology and standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) developed by the member-led organization, Afinis Interoperability Standards. “[The] BPDA was formed to bring to market the B2B directory,” said Lawrence Buettner, BPDA chairman. “By combining resources with NACHA, today we are even closer to making this a reality.”

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