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Amex targets the AP space

American Express has launched American Express One AP, the company’s first proprietary automated accounts payable (AP) solution that is designed to enable US businesses to process supplier payments more easily and efficiently. The solution is built on the technology acquired as part of the firm's purchase of acompay in 2019.

The AP solution offers complete end-to-end payment processing that supports multiple payment methods, including virtual card payments, cheque, and ACH. The solution is designed to work seamlessly with businesses’ existing accounting systems.

“Amex One AP is the continuation of our journey to digitise payment processes and become an essential part of our customers’ businesses," said Trina Dutta, vice president/general manager B2B Payments Automation, Global Commercial Services at American Express. "By automating the accounts payable process with an innovative, end-to-end solution, One AP makes it easier for businesses to pay for what they need to operate and ultimately grow.”

Tackling payment process challenges

Today, many business leaders are seeking solutions to their payment process challenges, particularly in light of the severe disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With office operations currently physically inaccessible for many, the need to digitise payment processes is more important than ever.

“American Express One AP helped us through a critical time for our work; not only have we been able to streamline vendor payments, reduce costs and save time, but we’ve also been able to continue processing cheques while maintaining necessary social distancing protocols,” said Javier Aceves, chief financial officer at Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

According to a recent American Express One AP Survey, 84% of US business decision makers said they feel positive about transitioning to a digital payments system. However, 79% of respondents still relied on paper cheques for at least some of their supplier payments before COVID-19, and 44% said the majority of their payments were not made digitally before the pandemic. 

Survey respondents also recognised that digitising their accounts payable process can address common pain points, with more than two-thirds (68%) citing increased efficiency and time savings as a critical reason to upgrade, as well as improving payment accuracy (43%), realising long-term cost savings (37%) and improving cash flow management (34%). In addition, more than one-third (35%) of respondents said the impact of COVID-19 has made them consider changing how they process payments.

The new American Express One AP is the company’s latest product in a suite of solutions to help businesses manage payments, which include collaborations with a number of innovators in the payment solutions space, such as Bill.com, Wex, Concur, MineralTree, Coupa, and SAP Ariba.

Survey methodology

The Morning Consult poll was conducted between 10-12 June 2020, among a US national sample of 1,000 small and mid-sized business decision makers with company revenues between US$100-300m. Results from the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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