Mastercard Launches Instant B2B Payments


Mastercard on Thursday (Jan. 20) unveiled its Mastercard Track Instant Pay, a virtual card solution for instant B2B payments, according to a press release.

“Integrated with Mastercard Track Business Payment Service, Mastercard’s open-loop B2B network, the new, first-of-its-kind virtual card solution delivers greater choice, efficiency and automation for buyers and suppliers to help streamline and speed business payments,” the company said.

Mastercard says Mastercard Track is designed to help customers avoid slower and more complicated payment methods, such as ACH.

And while there’s a growing demand by businesses to use virtual cards to automate payments to suppliers, many of these solutions aren’t meeting those needs, as 90% of virtual card transactions are still being processed manually.

“Mastercard Track Instant Pay is the first virtual card solution that can safely and intelligently authorize an immediate payment to a supplier once they submit an invoice,” the company said.

This tool uses machine learning and AI from the business finance firm Previse to analyze invoices and identify those likely to be rejected, thus allowing the rest to be approved for payment the day they’re received. With straight-through processing, digital payments are sent securely to a supplier’s bank account via a Mastercard virtual card, with no need for manual intervention.

“Delayed payments create significant challenges for businesses financially and operationally, especially in today’s environment,” said Ron Shultz, executive vice president, new payment flows, North America at Mastercard. “Track Instant Pay helps solve these pain points by enabling buyers and suppliers to automate their manual payment processes, unlocking valuable time, working capital and choice.”

Read more: Mastercard: 2021 Was the Year of Evolution

Shultz was one of the executives who contributed to In a Word: 50 Thought Leaders Sum Up 2021,” where he spoke in part about the importance of automation in B2B payments.

“Early in the pandemic, when no one was at offices to handle paperwork, invoicing and check processing ground to a screeching halt,” he said. “As a result, 82% of small businesses changed how they send and receive payments, and 51% pivoted their clients to digital payment methods, Mastercard found.”