Here is another example of how the commercial card industry is further attempting to gain additional share of payables volumes. This release in Finextra announces a deal between Stripe and Visa that, in effect, allows buyers using Visa’s automation platform to initiate invoice payments via a virtual card account, including in cases where suppliers are not set up to accept credit cards. This is especially key in times of a policy-driven recessionary economy where cash management has become priority number one, two, and three with many buyers and suppliers.
‘Visa has struck a deal with Stripe to enable buyers on Visa Payables Automation to pay suppliers who are unable to accept digital payments through the use of a virtual Visa card….Visa’s B2B Payables Automation platform allows buyers to enrol(sic), manage and pay suppliers digitally with a Visa commercial card. By plugging in to Stripe Connect, the new feature brings on board suppliers who are not connected to the traditional banking infrastructure.’
We have not received a briefing but assume the Stripe setup is as an acquirer and merchant of record that settles with the issuer while completing a separate local payment with the downstream supplier. This is not unique, with the model having been adopted by other vendors specializing in commercial credit cards.
So a supplier connects with Stripe and this removes the supplier enablement friction that often prevents the card option, opening up the long tail of spend for buyers.
‘The new service is now available in 30 markets around the world and can be activated by member banks that use Visa’s commercial card portfolio….Tarun Minglani, Asia Pacific head of commercial cards, Treasury and Trade Solutions, Citi, says: “Citi is committed to offering our clients innovative B2B payment solutions, enabling them to operate more efficiently in an increasingly digitised business environment. The Visa Payables Automation platform optimises the payments process while reducing points of friction that are traditionally associated with B2B payments.” ‘
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group