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Industry roundup: 10 July

American Express and SAP Concur integration to automate invoice and expense management 

American Express has announcing two new digital integrations to help businesses streamline and automate their invoicing and expense management processes. The first offering, an integration with Concur Invoice for American Express Business or Corporate Card customers, helps automate the invoice management process. Concur Invoice allows businesses to capture and automate paper and electronic invoices using machine learning, then integrates those payments into a single system that reduces processing times and allows for greater control and visibility. 

The second solution offers small businesses access to digital expense reporting that enables American Express Business Card transactions to seamlessly flow into Concur Expense, creating a more efficient way for employees to manage and streamline expenses.

A recent study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of the SAP Concur organisation found that a focus on tools that employees use on a regular basis is critical to enhancing their overall satisfaction. A majority of those surveyed named travel and expense (T&E) management software (63%) and accounts payable (AP) automation tools (68%) as one of the most important tools when it comes to creating a good employee experience.

 

By integrating American Express’ B2B payment capabilities with Concur Invoice, finance and accounts payable departments can:

  • Pay suppliers efficiently and securely. Businesses can pay eligible suppliers using American Express Business or Corporate Cards directly through Concur Invoice. Each card transaction uses a unique single-use virtual card number, which can help protect accounts from fraudulent charges.
  • Simplify processes and save time. Concur Invoice digitises the invoice capture and workflow process to help streamline reconciliation by reducing manual data input errors, processing times and costs, while helping avoid late payments.
  • Readily manage cash flow. Users can view transaction details in the American Express B2B Payments App and take advantage of the benefits of their American Express Business or Corporate Card. Within Concur Invoice, businesses also have access to in-depth spending data, helping them to spot trends and manage unnecessary costs.

The Concur Expense integration allows businesses to sync their American Express Business Cards and benefit from:

  • A streamlined expense report process. Employee expenses made on American Express Business Cards flow automatically into their expense report with Concur Expense, which can help reduce the time and manual input needed.
  • A means to help decrease errors. By automating these aspects of the expense report process, the integration may help reduce data entry errors and accidental fraud, such as duplicative credit card entries. Employees can see expenses that need to be submitted, helping to ensure the appropriate reconciliation of their card transactions.
  • Greater spending visibility and reporting. Expense reporting that is accessible, accurate, and comprehensive is essential to the operations of any business. Through the American Express Business Card integration, business owners receive detailed reporting of expenses incurred, which can be leveraged to improve overall spend management decisions for the business.

 

essDOCS Partners with Infosys Finacle for blockchain-based trade finance automation

essDOCS, an enabler of paperless trade, has announced a partnership with Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Infosys. essDOCS’ CargoDocs DocEx solution will be integrated with Finacle’s blockchain-based trade finance solution, Finacle Trade Connect, for select use-cases.

CargoDocs DocEx is a digital solution for banks and corporates enabling the secure electronic signing, distribution/transfer and management of original electronic documents - including title documents such as bills of lading and warehouse warrants - through the supply chain. 

Finacle Trade Connect is a blockchain-based application developed specifically to address and simplify the trade finance process requirements for banks, digitising trade finance business processes including validation of ownership, certification of documents and payments, while working on a distributed, trusted and shared network. 

The joint solution will focus on trade finance transactions including letters of credit (LCs), documentary collections, guarantees and more, allowing banks and their corporate customers to access all data (and documents) under any given financing instrument - consolidated within the Finacle Trade Connect solution - providing a single integrated solution with open, connected and non-siloed data.

Users of the joint solution will have a single, distributed source of truth that increases transaction trust and transparency, while using core functions of CargoDocs DocEx – including the ability to instantaneously draft, review, amend, sign, issue, transfer, present and surrender relevant original electronic documents such as the bill of lading. This should result in increased transaction speed, accuracy and control, elimination of paper document fraud risks, automation of doc handling processes and real-time access to relevant trade document data. 

 

Barclaycard extends partnership with SAP to include payment gateway access

Barclaycard Payments has extended its relationship with SAP to make its payments gateway product, Smartpay, available to SAP customers across Europe. Any business signed up to the SAP Commerce Cloud will be able to access Smartpay.

One of Smartpay’s chief benefits is its ability to power fast, smooth, flexible payments. The platform supports one-click purchases and allows buyers to use a variety of different cards, currencies and payment methods.

In addition, Smartpay uses the latest anti-fraud approaches - such as machine learning - to detect fraudulent transactions in real-time and reduce false positives. This approach is designed to protect the business’ finances and minimises negative customer experiences such as payment declines.

For companies who rely on the SAP Commerce Cloud to do business, implementation of Smartpay removes the need to have multiple integrations with different payment providers. In turn, this means that organisations can offer the same payment experience to their customers across all physical, digital and mobile channels.

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