American Express will launch the Buyer Initiated Payment platform in India this week, a move that aims to help businesses pay their suppliers on time while still extending their capital float, according to reports. The platform is also a response to India’s recent demonetization and subsequent increase in demand for electronic payment solutions.
“This will not only ensure complete efficiency in payment process but also provides the customer with increased days payable outstanding as there is an extended payment term available on credit card to the maximum of 51 days,” said American Express Vice President and General Manager of Global Corporate Payments Saru Kaushal in a statement.
The platform includes a single, digital portal through which businesses can reconcile and report their payments for accounting purposes and supports vendor payment automation. Kaushal did tell reporters, however, that both buyer and supplier have to be onboarded to the platform for it to work, which could stifle adoption rates. Research has shown that the use of payment cards for supplier payments continues to face adoption barriers thanks to the friction associated with linking both parties to a network, as well as the cost suppliers incur from accepting a card payment. Proponents of the tool, however, argue that suppliers will be willing to take on that cost in order to get paid more quickly.
Late last year, American Express made another B2B payments move in India by partnering with Uber, which now integrates American Express’s commercial card program into its Uber for Business solution to streamline corporate expense reporting.