Integrated Commerce Solutions Ltd is a South African company that specializes in comprehensive procurement & payment solutions, including the development and provision of secure world class 3rd Level Data technology and services specifically designed for Commercial Card Programs. The ICS 'C-Solve Enterprise solution, see business flows in figure, combines a procurement system - C-Solve Enterprise - with their ICS/ACS p-card processing environment to provide a complete Purchase-to-Pay solution. The bank needs to be a MasterCard p-card issuer.
Business Flows in C-Solve Enterprise
Source & Copyright©2013 - Integrated Commerce Solutions Ltd
ICS sells C-Solve Enterprise to large buyers with many 100s of suppliers who sign up and load their catalogue / product details (this can just be a spreadsheet of information about their products and services). The employees in the buyer who can make purchases are given a P-card and can then make approved purchases from the suppliers on the system. The order is sent direct to the supplier(s), mostly via e-mail.
When the product or service is delivered, the supplier clicks the appropriate field in C-Solve and the payment is made via the employee's P-Card. At the end of the month the buyer is given a summary invoice for each supplier which contains full line item detail (full Level 3 Data) of all good purchased that month. There is no separate invoice for each item or group of items.
As long as the buyer signs up a minimum number of suppliers, there is no charge to the buyer. If below this number there an installation charge and an annual maintenance charge. The buyer will be typically debited for the transaction in 37 days after payment.
The supplier is charged the p-card merchant service charge (MSC) -which is now much lower than it used to be 3-4 years ago and a small monthly charge. This equates to around 7-8% APR to receive payment in 2-5 days and does not involve the supplier needing a payment card terminal or any other costs.
To Europe via Partnership with Informita
ICS is now offering C-Solve Enterprise in Europe via their agent: Brian Shanahan's Informita company. Brian believes that the solution will be particularly attractive to companies in Portugal, who are not able at the moment to receive Level 3 Data in their invoices, and in other countries in Europe where companies have to rely on banks to provide the Level 3 Data. Also the system provides VAT detail on each line item, which is essential in countries such as Belgium where each line item could have a different VAT rate.
It is when e-procurement is fully integrated with the payment system and provides full line data for the buyer that e-commerce really makes sense. C-Solve Enterprise does just this, but is limited to the p-card payment system. It will be interesting to observe how this solution is accepted in the European market.
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