Visa Introduces New Accounts Payable Automation and Data Integration Services Designed to Boost Efficiency of B2B Payment Process

October 20, 2008 at 8:01 AM EDT
Alliances formed with global ERP provider Lawson and data integration solutions leader Hubspan; U.S. Bank pilots data integration services


In response to the growing trend of businesses seeking to streamline expense management systems(1), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced the introduction of Visa Accounts Payable (AP) Automation, a new service designed to help large and mid-sized businesses reduce costs associated with expense management, purchasing and accounts payable processes.

Visa AP Automation is an enhancement to Visa's portfolio of commercial payment products and services. The integration capabilities are enabled by Visa Data Integration Services, a suite of new commercial payment tools and applications that includes connectivity, file mapping, data enrichment and transformation solutions that can help businesses and banks eliminate time-consuming data integration implementations. Specifically, this service provides solutions that are designed accelerate time-to-market for new products and services while decreasing internal resource requirements.

"Helping businesses save time and money through more efficient B2B payment solutions has always been at the core of Visa's strategy to provide industry-leading commercial payment products and services," said Darren Parslow, head of Global Commercial Solutions, Visa Inc. "With the introduction of Visa AP Automation, it is now even easier for companies to eliminate costly check and paper-based processes and enjoy the potential cost saving and efficiency improvements associated with Visa Purchasing card transactions."

Electronic purchasing card transactions can be more efficient because they require less time and fewer resources than traditional invoice processing and reconciliation. According to the recent Visa AP Automation white paper(2), companies can achieve significant cost saving by automating the accounts payable function. Specifically, research by Aberdeen estimates that fully automated companies can save $10.87 per payment - approximately $1.1 million in savings for businesses processing 100,000 B2B payments per year. Visa purchasing card programs also provide detailed invoice reconciliation reports to help match invoices to payments more easily, helping companies save both time and money.

Integration with ERP Solutions and Expense Management Platforms

As a central component of these new solutions, Visa AP Automation integrates directly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and company expense management technologies to automatically convert existing paper based invoices and payments to more efficient electronic transactions. To help enable seamless access to Visa Purchasing card services, Visa has established alliances with global ERP provider Lawson and data integration solutions leader Hubspan. Using Lawson and Hubspan technologies, companies can more efficiently generate accounts payable files that integrate with Visa's AP Automation solution.

"With today's competitive business environment, companies need to maximize their investment in ERP systems," said Terry Plath, Vice President Business Development at Lawson. "Integrating B2B payments into those systems can immediately extend that investment and provide a ripple effect in streamlining operations across departments and even extended supply chains."

"The ability to seamlessly integrate data has been an impediment to more companies automating their payment processes," said Trisha Gross, President and CEO at Hubspan. "Our alliance with Visa can help eliminate these hurdles by providing companies with the on demand data integration solutions designed to meet the needs of even the most complex business environment utilizing a proven and rapid implementation model."

U.S Bank Pilot Visa Data Integration Services

"U.S. Bank is committed to providing its customers with innovative payment solutions, and exceptional customer service backed by the best tools technology can provide," said Jeff Pape, Senior Vice President of Product Management at U.S. Bank. "Visa's new data integration services allow us to effectively integrate our existing Payment Plus automation product and provide our customers with access to best-in-class tools to manage their expenses and reduce operating costs."

Controlling Spending and Optimizing Cash Flow

By integrating purchasing cards with accounts payable transactions, Visa can dynamically adjust payment parameters to provide flexible authorization and payment terms, match approved invoices and help reduce the risk of unauthorized card usage. Data integration can also provide better visibility into company expenses and greater control over outgoing payments. Because suppliers charge a Visa account, businesses can make consolidated payments after receiving a statement from their financial institution, thus providing more flexibility in the timing of payments and managing cash flow.

Automating Supplier Payments

The Visa AP Automation service requires minimal effort for company accounts payable professionals to use. Companies simply provide their approved supplier accounts payable files and Visa AP Automation turns payments to accepting suppliers into electronic transactions through a Visa Purchasing card account. Once the data is converted to a consistent electronic format, the service enables streamlined processing of approved supplier accounts payable files, matching purchasing card payment parameters with invoices, sending remittances to suppliers, and providing detailed payment data reports for account reconciliation.

For more information, visit

Notes to Editors:

About Visa Inc.: Visa Inc. operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world, and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit

About Lawson: Lawson Software provides software and service solutions to 4,000 customers in manufacturing, distribution, maintenance and service sector industries across 40 countries. Lawson's solutions include Enterprise Performance Management, Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management, Manufacturing Resource Planning, Enterprise Asset Management and industry-tailored applications. Lawson solutions assist customers in simplifying their businesses or organizations by helping them streamline processes, reduce costs and enhance business or operational performance. Lawson is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., and has offices around the world. Visit Lawson online at

About Hubspan: Hubspan connects businesses by providing a complete business-to-business integration solution for companies of all sizes. More than 10,000 trading partners across 34 countries benefit from Hubspan's scalable, flexible technology. Hubspan's market-leading solution, delivered as a service, yields increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction and retention, and increased operational efficiency faster and more cost-effectively than in-house development. Hubspan serves some of the largest, global enterprises as well as organizations with just a few hundred employees - managing even the most complex business processes. For more information, visit

About U.S. Bancorp: U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $247 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 2,542 banking offices and 4,895 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is home of the Five Star Service Guarantee, which assures customers of certain key banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at

(1) Visa Global Cash Management Survey - Executive Summary, Oct. 2008:

(2) Visa Inc., "Improving Accounts Payable Processes to Deliver Bottom-Line Cost Savings" Oct. 2008: white_paper.pdf (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

Source: Visa Inc.