Mastercard has introduced Mastercard Track in collaboration with Microsoft, which it says is a unique global trade platform that will simplify and enhance how companies around the world do business with each other.
While parts of the B2B process have been digitised, large and costly gaps still remain – an estimated $500bn in annual administrative costs and rising.
These costs are added to the inefficiency of the nearly half of all global business transactions – $58trn – that are still done in paper.
Mastercard Track will address these fundamental challenges by further streamlining and automating the procure-to-pay-process – enabling businesses to manage business identity, compliance and payments in a more efficient way.
“While there have been great improvements and innovations in the way consumers pay, the global B2B space remains highly inefficient and paper-based”, said Michael Froman, vice chairman and president of strategic growth at Mastercard.
“This adds hundreds of billions of dollars of costs and burdensome delays to global trade. Mastercard Track is a tool that will help reduce frictions in the global trading system and promote increased exports – especially by small and medium-sized businesses.”
From reducing the steps it takes to identify a business partner, to making the payments process simpler and more transparent, Mastercard Track has the potential to unlock economic growth and to level the playing field for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
“Together with Mastercard, we’re helping companies around the world accelerate the pace of their own transformation by creating a more efficient buying and selling process at scale,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president, Microsoft.
“By building Mastercard Track on Azure, Mastercard will be able to take advantage of our stringent security and compliance standards, our global footprint and our intelligent cloud solutions to help organisations of all sizes drive value from the back-office to the front of the enterprise.”
Initially, Mastercard is partnering with nine B2B networks and procure-to-pay solution providers – Basware, BirchStreet, Coupa, the Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network, Ivalua, Jaggaer, Liaison Technologies, Tradeshift and Tungsten Network – representing a wide range of global businesses, to roll out Track’s identity, compliance and payment management capabilities to buyers and suppliers.
Beginning in early 2019, customers of these organisations will be able to maintain, retrieve and exchange key information relating to themselves and their trading partners through the Track Trade Directory, a secure, permissioned repository of over 150mn company registrations worldwide. This central directory will integrate feeds from more than 4,500 compliance lists into one place, making the screening and onboarding of suppliers more efficient.
As the platform expands, suppliers will have better visibility into cash flow – when they can expect to get paid and for how much – across multiple networks.
Track will help connect all types of payments – account-based, card-based or bank transfer – within the platform, while also connecting purchase order and invoice information. This will streamline and simplify back-office reconciliation, one of the largest burdens facing businesses today.
Through its partners, Track will enable B2B networks, banks, insurance companies and technology providers to extend value-added services to business customers, such as enhanced data analytics and trade finance.