This piece is posted on Cision PR Newswire and discusses the latest collaboration in the procure-to-pay space, which has been steadily converging through the past few years. Amex and Coupa, the business spend management company out of San Mateo, are expanding an existing relationship so that Coupa Pay (through the BSM platform, it seems) will have integrated Amex virtual cards as a payment option for U.S. companies. Previously the partnership was through the U.K. and Australia common clients.
‘Demand for the American Express virtual Card payment with Coupa Pay is continuing to grow across the U.K. and Australia, with customers streamlining how they pay suppliers for all spend that goes through the Coupa Business Spend Management (BSM) Platform. As many companies continue to accommodate largely remote workforces for the foreseeable future, the expansion into the U.S. continues to help meet the demand of customers who need a virtual way to pay suppliers and ensure their business continues to be operational….”The pandemic has created widespread work from home policies, meaning previously fragmented and manual business payment processes are no longer an option,” said JR Robertson, vice president of Coupa Pay at Coupa. “With Coupa Pay, Coupa and American Express are making it easier for our joint U.S. customers to thrive in this challenging environment by empowering them to pay using virtual Card technology. Now, every transactional step in the business spend management process can be done smarter and simpler.” ‘
This has been an ongoing theme in the pandemic-ravaged 2020, with cash flow issues and home working causing all sorts of adjustments to financial operations on the fly. The U.S., of course, is the paper payment heaven of all the developed economies, due to the legacy of a long standing (and relatively efficient) check processing ecosystem that has been slow to evaporate.
Based on the conference season feedback (Sibos, etc), the digitalization adaption is now in full throttle. Since both Amex and Coupa already have payables solutions on their own that use virtual cards, this is another way of servicing common customers and then perhaps flipping the issuing relationship for others down the line. Look for more of these.
‘Additional benefits of this integration include:
- Extended pre-approvals for card spend, which increases visibility into spend across the organization.
- Enhanced security when paying suppliers using virtual Card technology that generates a unique American Express Card number for each transaction.
- Increased visibility into the full payment process while automating invoice matching and reconciliation to improve efficiency.
- Streamlined payments and greater visibility into payment details for suppliers.
- Use of the card’s payment cycle to better manage working capital for buyers.’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group