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Mastercard unveils vision to modernise the global B2B payments market

Mastercard has unveiled its plans to modernise the business-to-business (B2B) payment ecosystem with Mastercard Track. The payments company says the Track brand of products represents a transformational change for suppliers and buyers:  solutions that will reduce complexity, cut costs and automate processes.

“The business world has accelerated, but the payments that enable it are stuck in neutral - paper cheques and manual invoicing need to be scrapped, man-hours need to be applied to more strategic roles and back-offices need tools to help streamline operations,” said James Anderson, Mastercard's executive vice president, Commercial Products. “Mastercard Track helps supplier and buyer partners tackle the systemic challenges of B2B payments, reinventing how businesses send and receive funds so B2B payments can keep pace with innovation and liberate enterprises from the inefficiencies throughout the system."

Mastercard launched Track in 2018 as a trade platform to address identity, compliance and payment management needs. As a secure, permissioned repository of more than 210 million registered entities worldwide, the trade directory is a central component to the expanded suite of products and services. Track will now encompass all current and future B2B payment products - a collection of tools and services that will significantly improve and simplify the way businesses pay and get paid.

A direct connection to greater value, efficiency and control

Central to the growing Track portfolio is the new Mastercard Track Business Payment Service, a single connection bringing together multiple payment types, greater control and richer data to optimise B2B transactions for both suppliers and buyers. 

Multiple payment types 

As a multi-rail company, Mastercard is bringing choice of how to pay and get paid - ACH/account-to-account and card-based payments - to one solution with Track Business Payment Service. Suppliers can set customised payment preferences that work best for their business. Buyers can discover suppliers, with visibility into which payment types they accept and under which conditions.

Common standards 

Track Business Payment Service is built on the PCI and ISO standards to maximise automation and secure data exchange, accelerating the reconciliation process by supporting all file formats. Supplier terms and conditions will be applied to payments through a centralised directory for added transparency.

Richer data exchanges 

Every transaction is processed with the data that is needed by the supplier. Remittance data, including buyer identification information and corresponding invoice numbers will eliminate the guessing game of aligning funds with invoices, making reconciliation easier and simplifying cash flow management.

“We believe now is the time to reinvent this $125 trillion ecosystem,” added Anderson. “Having all types of payments under one roof, connections to virtually every business-payment partner across the globe and innovation that already digitises and automates legacy infrastructure, Mastercard is the partner uniquely positioned to deliver unmatched capabilities to vastly improve the way businesses conduct trade at scale.”

Pilot rollout, with 2020 availability

The payment service will be rolled out globally, starting with the US market in the first half of 2020. The company will make the product available through supplier and buyer partners who will incorporate it into their existing product offerings. It is currently being piloted by customers in North America ahead of market availability. Pilot customers and partners include B2B payments optimiser Boost, payment solutions providers CSI and TSYS, accounts receivable (AR) software providers VersaPay, YayPay, and HighRadius, and accounts payable automation provider AvidXchange.

As part of the announcement, Mastercard gathered a selection of comments from partners participating in the Track pilot project:

“As exclusive payments partner for the Mastercard B2B Hub, we’re excited to pair the strength of the AvidPay Network’s more than 500,000 suppliers with the Mastercard Track portfolio to increase access to simple, secure electronic payments," said Michael Praeger, CEO and co-founder of AvidXchange. "This represents an important next step in our partnership and combined efforts to transform how the B2B ecosystem pays their bills.” 

“Mastercard’s vision of creating a single cloud made up of buyer and supplier agents that collectively eliminate the friction often associated with the use and acceptance of commercial cards for all buyers and suppliers is exactly what the B2B payments ecosystem needs," commented Dean M. Leavitt, founder and CEO of Boost Payment Solutions.  "We are honoured and excited to have been chosen by Mastercard to serve as the first supplier agent for the BPS platform and we look forward to working with them and other BPS partners in a collaborative effort to expand commercial card utilisation well beyond anyone’s expectations.” 

“CSI is pleased to participate as an early participant of the Mastercard Track Business Payment Service initiative," explained Jason Kolbenheyer, managing director, International Operations at CSI. "Innovation and thought leadership that eases and simplifies buyer and supplier electronic acceptance is key to the future of B2B payments.  Mastercard has taken a neutral yet forward-thinking approach to easing card payment acceptance for merchants via a flexible one-to-many API service that has resulted in a promising solution to help issuers simplify payment acceptance and delivery.” 

“B2B payments is a rapidly growing segment in today’s payments landscape and we’re excited to partner with Mastercard on their expanded Track programme to provide key access to card acceptor suppliers within the B2B payment chain," noted Dave Duncan, SVP of Product Development, TSYS Merchant Solutions. "Our participation provides an opportunity to introduce our large partner network to the Mastercard program and help drive more B2B payments acceptance in the market.”

“We’re excited to be one of the first companies using Mastercard Track Business Payment Service to process transactions between the thousands of buyers and enterprise suppliers on our Customer-Centric AR Automation platform," said Craig O’Neill, VersaPay's CEO. "With Track Business Payment Service, we have a flexible new payment alternative that will orchestrate the movement of dollars and data across multiple payment types, an innovation that we believe will make digital payments the preferred choice for B2B transactions.”  

“YayPay couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Mastercard to support their efforts to modernize the world of B2B payments," commented Anthony Venus, CEO of YayPay. "YayPay sits at the hub of the buyer and supplier relationship and is uniquely positioned to disrupt the ‘status quo’ of B2B payments.  The combination of Mastercard Track and YayPay will enhance inefficient processes to radically improve and simplify the way businesses pay and get paid.”

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