The FINANCIAL — Visa and Billtrust announced that they are collaborating on Billtrust’s Business Payments Network (BPN), which is designed to streamline the delivery of electronic B2B payments to suppliers.
As a unique supplier-driven B2B payments network, BPN provides a transparent registry of suppliers who accept digital payments, giving buyers and financial institutions the necessary access to automate what has historically been a complex process. BPN makes it easier than ever to harness the increased efficiencies, greater security and lower costs associated with processing digital payments, without needing to make significant changes to existing infrastructure.
Recent estimates show that paper checks still represent roughly 51% of U.S. B2B payment volumes1. The ubiquity of check acceptance in the U.S. has been a key reason it has remained the leading form of payment despite its many disadvantages. Buyers and suppliers have already recognized the advantages of digitizing payments, including less manual touch, improved fraud controls and enhanced reconciliation.
However, the current lack of connectivity between existing B2B payment platforms remains the largest barrier to adoption. Suppliers simply don’t have the systems and processes in place to accept the increasingly complex forms of payment that buyers and their financial institutions want to send.
BPN is designed to address current industry challenges by:
Providing a connected platform for suppliers, buyers, financial institutions, and accounts payable and accounts receivable software providers;
Publishing an online directory that contains a full view of participating suppliers and their payment acceptance preferences;
Providing financial institutions and corporate buyers with ability to deliver digital payments directly to the suppliers’ acceptance platforms;
Enabling complex financial and payment data to seamlessly come together at scale while delivering streamlined reconciliation to suppliers and buyers.
In 2017, Visa and Billtrust announced a strategic relationship intended to support growth in B2B payments through the integration of Billtrust’s Virtual Card Capture and Visa’s Straight Through Processing solution. Billtrust’s BPN will further the multipronged strategy Visa and Billtrust are pursuing to reduce friction and streamline payment processes and reconciliation for financial institutions, corporate buyers and B2B suppliers.