MasterCard Pushes e-Payments

Allies with Xign to offer electronic invoice-to-pay service for business and government

Tempe, AZ  September 20, 2002  MasterCard International this week unveiled a new electronic payment and information management service intended to simplify procurement processes and cut the costs associated with manual billing and payment processes.

The new service integrates MasterCard's corporate payment solutions into Xign Corporation's Payment Services Network (XPSN), providing organizations access to increased management controls, buyer-approved electronic payments, enhanced data capture and data reconciliation.

In addition, the new payment platform will support a varied choice of settlement options, including the MasterCard corporate purchasing card, as well as the card company's Remote Payment and Presentment Service (MasterCard RPPSÔ) and the automated clearinghouse (ACH).

The card company says that business still manually write and send out nearly 30 billion paper checks in the United States alone each year. According to Celent Communications, 82 percent of all B2B payments in the United States are currently made using paper checks. MasterCard is counting on the new solution, coupling rich remittance information with purchasing cards and ACH, to fuel momentum to adopt electronic payments vehicles.

MasterCard and Xign say their offering will provide direct cost savings by eliminating several paper-based steps in the payment and reconciliation processes. Buyers can transmit purchase orders electronically, receive electronic invoices from suppliers, pay electronically according to established rules, receive enhanced transaction data, and reconcile and integrate data into financial systems.

For suppliers, the MasterCard/Xign solution allows online invoicing, access to payment status, acceptance of electronic payments, easier transaction reconciliation and enhanced transaction information, according to the two companies

"The solution fits hand in glove with existing procurement software services and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems," said Stephen W. Orfei, senior vice president of e-commerce and eB2B at MasterCard. "Integrating purchasing card and other payment methods with ERP solutions will allow corporations to fully leverage their payment systems. The corporate customer wants to integrate the entire process, from the purchase order, to the invoice, to payment and reconciliation."