MasterCard, Velosant Partner on e-Payments

Purchasing card link with electronic invoice solution could extend p-card into new categories, big-ticket transactions

Purchase, NY — June 10, 2003 — MasterCard International and enterprise payments company Velosant have launched a joint effort to introduce a B2B payment solution to automate the financial and information supply chain for corporations and public sector organizations in a deal that could help extend corporate p-card programs into new purchasing categories and enable larger ticket transactions.

Velosant was formed this month as an operating company of transaction processing systems specialist eONE Global and as an affiliate of First Data Corp. The company, which uses its BillingZone service as the foundation for its electronic invoice and payment offering, provides financial supply chain solutions to midsize and large enterprises and helps automates their financial supply chain processes.

As part of the MasterCard e-P3 program, the MasterCard corporate purchasing card will be integrated into the BillingZone electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) service of Velosant. The two companies believe that, with support from other First Data businesses, their combined solution will electronically close the loop of the purchase-to-pay cycle.

"Strategically, our partnership with Velosant extends MasterCard's reach and ability to deliver on the promise of a fully automated financial and information supply chain," said Philip Philliou, vice president for e-business and emerging technologies at MasterCard International. "This buyer-centric model enhances controls and streamlines processes while providing a high-value, low-cost proposition to suppliers."

Philliou added that the arrangement would create new opportunities for corporate purchasing card programs, opening new purchasing categories and enabling larger ticket transactions.

"Our Fortune 1000 accounts payable customers tell us that they expect up to 30 percent of their B2B invoicing and payment volumes will be processed via corporate purchasing cards," said Bill Walsh, chief executive officer of Velosant, adding that the MasterCard relationship would help to address this need.

Introduced in April, MasterCard's e-P3 solution is intended to let corporate buyers automatically link electronic purchase orders, invoices and receipt of goods with purchasing card transactions. The card company says that the system provides the ability to deliver line-item detail (Level III data) for every transaction, regardless of the supplier, point-of-sale device or acquirer limitations. The enhanced data resides in MasterCard's central data repository and is available for delivery back to the buyer via Web-based reporting tools, such as MasterCard's own Smart Data OnLine.

MasterCard asserted that e-P3 allows buying organizations to receive the full benefits of purchasing card settlement while maintaining the oversight and controls inherent in the purchase order requisition, approval and matching process. By automating these business processes and integrating MasterCard settlement into the proper place in this financial and information supply chain, e-P3 can help companies comply with recent regulatory changes that demand rapid access to real-time data, defined internal controls and overall corporate accountability and compliance, MasterCard said.

The new partners believe that Velosant's accounts payable (A/P) automation expertise, in combination with MasterCard e-P3, will help enterprises to more effectively manage the time-intensive invoicing and payment processes, optimizing financial supply chain efficiencies through a virtually paperless A/P process. The potential benefits could include a decrease in the total cost to process invoices, better use of discounts due to faster electronic approval processes, improved cash management and the opportunity to analyze overall spend and procurement trends.