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Mastercard advances multi-rail strategy to modernise business payments

Mastercard continues to pursue its multi-rail strategy in the payments world, with the addition of account-to-account (A2A) payments functionality to the Mastercard Track Business Payment Service.

The firm says that this launch represents the next phase in its journey to modernise business payments by solving persistent pain points that buyers and suppliers currently experience. Building on the integration of card payments within the service, businesses can now have a similar experience for A2A payments - exchanging data with greater efficiency and facilitating payments across multiple payment rails including Real Time Payments (RTP) and the Automated Clearing House (ACH) in the US.

The account-to-account payments functionality in the Track Business Payment Service is now available in the US and will be available in all regions by the end of 2021. Mastercard says that cross-border payments are also on the roadmap for next year.

Getting control of payments data

Track Business Payment Service is designed to provide businesses with greater control of their payments. It supports rich data exchanges and the ability to automate payments without the need to share sensitive bank account information. About 80% of mid-size and large suppliers view the sharing of bank account data as a business risk, according to Mastercard research covering 404 survey responses, and from an even split of small (>US$50m), mid-size ($US50-250m), and large (US$250m+) companies.  

Mastercard says that the risk of bank account data being compromised is reduced because suppliers no longer need to share their confidential bank account details with buyers, nor do buyers need to store those details.

“Today, the vast majority of B2B payments are made through bank account transfers,” said James Anderson, executive vice president of Global Commercial and B2B Solutions at Mastercard. "Extending Mastercard Track Business Payment Service to support these transfers is a step on our way to building out the best and most secure B2B payment network in the world. Our commitment to supporting multiple payment rails has always been about helping customers operate more efficiently and effectively leveraging all the capabilities available in the market with as little change as possible. This milestone is another step in the journey away from paper-based frustration, incomplete data and manual reconciliation work and toward a fully digitised business payments process.”

Modernising B2B payments through partnerships

In May 2020, Mastercard announced the commercial launch of Track Business Payment Service for US card payments. Today, businesses of all sizes can use this service to pay and get paid with card through new distribution partners around the world including: bzPay, Gardenia Technologies, Girasol Payment Solutions, Network International, Pendo Technologies Corp., Plastiq, Today Payments, Inc., Transcard, Ukheshe, and Yak Pay.

Now, through Track Business Payment Service, the payments giant says that commercial businesses have access to more control and greater simplicity in how they pay and get paid across multiple payment types. This message was supported by what their partners had to say on the new functionality.

“Suppliers and billers need rich data exchanges, including itemised revenue transaction data, not just batch deposit summaries afforded them via direct connect banking," said Leigh Cook, CEO of Today Payments.

“B2B payments terms and delays can create debilitating negative cashflow dilemmas for business... Mastercard’s Track Business Payment Service multi-rail solution provides a new payment platform enablement and a scalable payment solution for our customers," commented Aleks Kostadinovic, CEO of bzPay. "By enabling payment flexibility options, Mastercard paves the way for a globally connected eCommerce solution.”

“Payment behaviour in the B2B market space is a crucial pain point in the Caribbean, mainly due to complex processes from different business cultures," noted Marwan Rozier, chief operating officer at Girasol Payment Solutions. "As our company focuses on facilitating the business payment ecosystem with innovative technologies, it is our mission to add value to the way business payments are made. Mastercard Track Business Payment Service solution allows us to adopt global payment standards and add value by increasing transparency and providing rich reconciliation/remittance data in a secure trusted environment on both cards and A2A payment rails.” 

“Businesses are in constant need to access new forms of working capital and streamline their payments," said Sameer Gulati, president and COO of Plastiq. "Plastiq’s ability to help businesses do more with their commercial cards is very aligned with Mastercard Track Business Payment Service's global vision for making B2B payments frictionless.”

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