Visa and Billtrust are announcing a major new user for their Business Payments Network (BPN) as of today (July 31). JPMorgan has announced it will use the service to streamline the delivery of electronic B2B payments for its commercial card clients.
Launched jointly last November by Visa and Billtrust, the BPN is an open buyer/supplier payments platform created, according to Billtrust CEO Flint Lane, as a “better highway to drive their payments on.” That highway, Lane added, is one that provides instant and friction-free payments access between buyers and suppliers, while at the same time guaranteeing the privacy and security of the data associated with the payment.
JPMorgan’s signing onto the BPN, according to a joint release by Visa and Billtrust, will allow their (JPMorgan’s) customers to tap into the BPN’s connected platform of suppliers to send and receive digital payments more efficiently and quickly.
“BPN’s offering is a great fit for JPMorgan’s commercial card clients and their suppliers,” said John Skinner, head of commercial cards at JPMorgan.” As we continue to invest in our Single-Use Accounts (SM) solution and partner with innovative, industry-leading providers such as Visa and Billtrust, joining the network was a natural step in our road map.”
Since its launch last fall, almost two billion dollars in virtual card payments for suppliers have been automated — a solid result for an industry that Lane described a little over six months ago as “swimming in paper.”
That’s a colorful way of noting what data make clear: more than half (57 percent) of all organizations still use manual data entry, and 71 percent of companies say manual data entry and inefficient processes are pain points for accounts payable.
“Why?” Flint Lane noted, “because no one has solved that last-mile problem for the delivery of payments to the supplier.”
BPN is trying to automate B2B’s stubbornly resistant last mile by routing payments that would have once been managed via email through the Business Payments Network instead, thereby eliminating paper and around 56,000 hours of manual data entry, processing and invoice matching against suppliers’ outstanding invoices. BPN also enables complex financial and payment data to come together seamlessly at scale, while delivering streamlined reconciliation to buyers and suppliers.
“Since announcing BPN last year, we have received very positive feedback from financial institutions and are pleased to have JPMorgan as our first issuer using the platform,” said Kevin Phalen, global head of Visa Business Solutions. “As the market leader globally in B2B digital payments, we are on track to surpass $1 trillion in B2B payment volume this year and will continue to find new ways to integrate digital payments into B2B payment flows.”