American Express and SAP Ariba have partnered to offer streamlined B2B payments on the Ariba network. Sean Thompson of SAP and E-Bai Koo of American Express have commented on the upcoming procure-to-pay process.
Despite trillions of dollars flowing through the SAP Ariba network, B2B payments between customers and suppliers are often conducted outside the network. To counter the loss of visibility and make payments easier on a single network, Amex and SAP Ariba have entered a multi stage partnership.
Amex, an SAP Ariba network extension partner, will integrate virtual card services onthe network, using a token-based, virtual access approach. The project aims to eliminate payment disruption and increase efficiency. E-Bai Koo, executive vice president, Global Commercial Services at American Express, said:
“We are continuously looking for ways for our customers to conduct more business in a simple, intuitive and integrated manner. With over half of American Express’ largest global customers already using SAP Ariba to manage their expenses, this partnership has the opportunity to provide significant value for our joint customers… We couldn’t be more excited about building a long-term partnership with SAP Ariba.”
According to the American Express website, the integration will facilitate seamless commerce, secure payments, and easy reconciliation between businesses on a single platform. Existing American Express corporate customers will be able to get set up later this year without the need to create a standalone account.
Cited on their website, The new benefits for buyers will include:
- Improved operational efficiencies by eliminating the need to handle payments as a separate standalone process
- Increased control by having the ability to set a payment amount and timing of each payment, as a result of token-based virtual access and usage controls
- Improved working capital to manage cash conversion cycles
- Improved reconciliation by providing greater payment status visibility and data enhancements
For suppliers, this partnership will also bring the following new benefits:
- Increased speed of payment as a result of a more seamless process for buyers
- Improved collections with reduced risk of fraud, as a result of token-based virtual access controls
- Improved reconciliation through detailed virtual Card remittance information
“American Express’ unique integrated business model provides deep relationships with both buyers and suppliers. As a global leader in the payments space, they deeply understand the needs and pain points that businesses face throughout the supply chain cycle,”
said Sean Thompson, senior vice president, SAP Ariba Business Network & Ecosystem.
“Partnering with American Express as a new network extension partner – integrating virtual payment capabilities within Ariba Network – we’re able to deliver a true end-to-end procure-to-pay process to customers that changes the game in the corporate payments space.”