Monday, April 26, 2010

TAWPI @ NACHA Payments

Posted by Mark Brousseau

The meshing between accounts payable and accounts receivable and different payment types and mechanisms is going to be this decade’s focus when it comes to payments innovation and standards, Aaron Bills, COO and founder, 3Delta Systems, told me this morning at NACHA’s Payments 2010.

“There is an evolution and maturing occurring in purchasing as a strategic function,” Bills said. “We’re finally working back from the manufacturing supply chain to the financial supply chain.”

“The fewer fingerprints we can leave on the transaction, the less costly it is to process,” Bills said. “We’ve had these different tracks where people have tried to solve similar payments problems. What the market needs is a localized, parameterized and database-driven payments infrastructure that supports multiple tenders, multiple nations, multiple parties, and multiple levels of security.”

That’s why 3Delta Systems is expanding beyond its purchasing card (p-card) roots to develop what Bills refers to as a “global payment infrastructure” – a centrally managed solution delivering a high degree of authentication and appropriate levels of control (such as PCI) across all payment types. “By having a platform that we can rapidly extend or adapt for different requirements, we can achieve success in an environment that is churning quickly and where the ‘right path’ hasn’t been defined.”

Bills said to think of it as an ‘intelligence switch.’

“The industry has a last mile wiring problem, where that are a lot of nice applications that need to be connected to a network,” Bill said. “The nightmare scenario for organizations is that they have a deluge of relationships and technologies that they have to manage; many-to-many. Our goal is to make it easier to manage that by providing a technology base where connections are streamlined.”

“There needs to be a consistent payments process that can be applied, regardless of the tender type,” Bills says. “A merchant simply cannot manage eight to 12 different business processes. It upsets the operational balance.”

Bills said his company’s new product will bring him into competition with card processors who are his channel partners today. But he’s up for the task. “The challenge the processors face is that their technology is very old – a lot of it is written in COBOL. The older technologies will make it harder for current channels to adapt to the rapidly changing client requirements, and that will create the opportunity for technology providers like us. Indeed, we may compete with some in the dynamic space, but it is also likely that the channels that relied on us for our B2B services will rely on us again during this wave of innovation.”

What do you think?

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