Having just completed a whirlwind tour of the various Q4 online industry events (i.e.; AFP, CPI, Sibos), which included dozens of attended sessions (and a few direct participations), it is quite apparent that the pandemic has created a digital tipping point as it relates to financial operations. This is most particularly apparent as it relates to payables and receivables, given the direct impact with onsite operations (or lack thereof as it were).
So this release at businesswire fits the bill on the payables side given the strategic relationship announcement between Visa and Conferma Pay, the UK-based virtual cards fintech. The partnership will launch Visa Commercial Pay, which is described as a ‘suite of B2B payment solutions’.
‘Virtual commercial cards have never been more necessary than today. Remote workers are turning to personal cards to pay for corporate expenses, buyers and suppliers need more efficient ways to pay and get paid, and businesses need immediate visibility into their company spend to improve cash flow and mitigate risk efficiently. Visa Commercial Pay provides comprehensive card-program management capabilities, including on-demand virtual card issuance to employees’ mobile devices via an app, created exclusively by Conferma Pay and Visa, for Visa’s commercial clients. Visa Commercial Pay also simplifies money movement between buyers and suppliers, and features enhanced data, automated payment processing and expense reconciliation….With virtual commercial cards at its core, Visa Commercial Pay features three B2B payment offerings for financial institutions and their corporate customers, including Visa Commercial Pay Mobile app, Visa Commercial Pay Travel and Visa Commercial Pay B2B.’
We have not yet received a briefing on the specifics of the solution’s capabilities but have discussed the increasing demand for touchless payments, which the Mobile app feature addresses via the pushing out of a virtual card number to a wallet. The Travel feature provides a central integration with travel reservation solutions with enhanced visibility.
The B2B part of the solution seems to be the path for integration with procurement systems, which is part of the convergence we have been expecting now for several years. These various types of solutions have been generally available now for some time but are now being further integrated through APIs for better packaged solutions across the cash cycle.
‘Visa’s commercial clients can leverage the Visa Commercial Pay suite of solutions across multiple commercial-spend use cases, without any additional development or operational complexity that often comes with launching new capabilities. Financial institutions can now use Visa’s new set of flexible virtual-card capabilities in their entirety or a la carte, in order to quickly meet their clients’ needs.’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group