Paper Dinosaur

Visa has a non-card-based e-payment system that might make paper checks obsolete

San Francisco  May 1, 2002  According to research conducted by the Gartner Group and Visa U.S.A., 86 percent of all B2B payments are currently made using paper checks, while only 11 percent of companies find checks or cash to be an efficient form of payment.

In a bid to further eliminate the use of paper checks in the $11.5 trillion B2B marketplace, Visa U.S.A. introduced a new non-card-based electronic payment and information management service called Visa Commerce.

According to Visa, Visa Commerce represents a new model in commercial payment. The service was created to complement Visa's traditional purchasing card program as an electronic solution that gives buyers and suppliers new levels of control and flexibility when making or receiving B2B payments. It allows the buyer to determine when to initiate electronic payment, defer settlement of the payment based on pre-established terms with suppliers and transact the type of B2B payments needed in today's procurement environment in any amounts up to $10 million per transaction.

Additionally, Visa Commerce does not replace procurement software services, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, or other payment products like Visa Purchasing cards. It also provides companies with global payment capability and, for suppliers, the service allows online payment requests, immediate access to the status of payments online, acceptance of electronic payments, easier transaction reconciliation and enhanced transaction information.

Visa Commerce is comprised of three major components: a Member-branded payment account; an optional Web-based user interface that simplifies the payment process; and a secure technology platform supported by VisaNet.

Visa Member financial institutions are expected to begin piloting Visa Commerce in the coming months with general release of the service expected for 2003.