The service, built with the technology American Express acquired with its purchase of acompay in 2019, will aim to help businesses process supplier payments in a more efficient, modern digital way, working seamlessly with the systems they already have in place, according to the release.
American Express One AP will accept many payment methods including virtual cards, ACH and checks, the release said.
The new system is especially pertinent given the pandemic's disruptions of normal office work. With many people forced to work from home for the past several months, payments systems were in disarray without the access to back-office physical solutions that companies were used to.
And the digital shift is going to be permanent for many areas of life, with companies exploring new ways to digitize payment processes. Automation, according to a recent PYMNTS report, is poised to save businesses both money and time. Tools like three-way matching, which compares orders, invoices and shipment receipts to track discrepancies, and fine-tuning of system controls allow for more accuracy and less errors.
The recent American Express One AP Survey by the company found 84 percent of businesses responding felt positive about switching to digital processes, while 79 percent still reported using paper checks for parts of their payments systems before the pandemic. Forty-four percent of respondents said the majority of their payments had not been digital before the pandemic.
American Express One AP will continue in the same vein as many of the company's past B2B ventures and "beyond the card" projects, American Express Vice President and General Manager B2B Payments Automation, Global Commercial Services Trina Dutta said in the press release.
"By automating the accounts payable process with an innovative, end-to-end solution, One AP makes it easier for businesses to pay for what they need to operate and ultimately grow," she said.