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MasterCard, EC Cubed Plan B-to-B E-Commerce Initiative

MasterCard International and EC Cubed Inc., a provider of e-commerce application components, signed an agreement to provide the enabling technology for MasterCard's business-to-business e-commerce infrastructure.

EC Cubed will work with MasterCard to co-develop a range of business-to-business e-commerce applications. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

The first joint initiative is the development of an open, Internet-based, data capture system that supports MasterCard's Corporate Purchasing Card. The Corporate Purchasing Card helps organizations control spending and streamline purchasing processes associated with authorizing, tracking and reconciling business purchases.

EC Cubed's application component suite, ecWorks, will provide the underlying infrastructure needed to create an Internet "Commercial Card Gateway" through which purchase order data is transmitted from any front-end electronic procurement software solution to the MasterCard purchasing card system.

MasterCard said its Commercial Card Gateway will significantly extend its data reporting capabilities, providing the corporate purchasing department with the line-item, Level 3 data needed to better track and control enterprise-wide spending via the Internet. Companies can then use this detailed data for cardholder reconciliation and general ledger accounting integration.

"We've found a technology approach that fits with our strategic goal of offering a turnkey solution for Internet-enabled purchasing that delivers line item data to corporate buyers without the need for merchants to invest in changing their payment infrastructure to accommodate Level 3 processing," said Steve Abrams, senior vice president of U.S. Corporate Products at MasterCard.

MasterCard said it will pilot the Commercial Card Gateway internally, before extending it to member banks as a commercial solution later this year.