It’s easy enough for a procurement agent to buy a lot of stuff on e-commerce sites, but often a lot harder to access, manage and analyze the payment data associated with those transactions. Visa Inc. and Amazon Business have teamed up to make life easier for those buyers.
They have agreed to provide businesses with purchasing accounts on Amazon Business with access to data tied to purchases made with Visa Commercial cards. The free service is designed to let buyers access full line-item details of purchases made on Amazon Business to reconcile or audit their financial records, regardless of how many suppliers they purchased from. Amazon Business features products sold by some 45,000 sellers in addition to Amazon.com Inc. itself.
“Tracking and reconciling online purchases made with commercial cards can be a time-consuming task, and at Visa, we are continuously looking for innovative ways to simplify the process,” says Vicky Bindra, global head of products and solutions at Visa Inc. “Visa’s collaboration with Amazon Business and our bank partners will ultimately help our commercial account holders in the U.S. spend less time on reconciliation of their purchases and allow more card management options.”
Visa and Amazon Business announced the new service this week, noting that it will initially be available for Visa Commercial cards issued by three banks—Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citibank and PNC Bank N.A.—before being rolled out to other Visa card issuers. The service also provides for delivery of payment transaction data—including item description and name of vendor, the invoice number, number of units purchased, order date and shipping address—to a client company’s financial management application within its own enterprise resource planning system.
“B2B payments require enhanced data for proper audit, reporting and purchasing control,” says Morgan Salmon, global commercial cards B2B product head at Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions.
Jennifer Petty, head of Card and Comprehensive Payables for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says her bank sees increasing demand for the service as businesses rely more on web shopping portals like Amazon Business to make more of their purchases. “As organizations’ buying patterns move toward online marketplaces, access to this critical data will help with reconciliation and audit,” she says.
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