Putting More ‘E’ in B2B E-Commerce

San Francisco-based Visa U.S.A. is launching what it calls the “next
generation” of B2B payment services – Visa Commerce, a cardless electronic
payment and information management program.


The service is aimed at letting businesses reduce their use of expensive
paper checks and would apparently compete with companies such as CheckFree Corp. and
others, as well as rival MasterCard’s e-business offerings.


“Visa Commerce is the `missing link’ that adds electronic payment and
information management to the procurement process,” said Rob Stansfield,
executive vice president of commercial solutions at Visa U.S.A.


Visa Commerce allows the buyer to determine when to initiate electronic
payment, to defer settlement of the payment based on pre-established terms
with suppliers and to transact the type of B2B payments needed in any amounts
up to $10 million per transaction.


Visa said the new product will help companies realize their investment in
e-procurement systems, while also providing greater payment efficiency to
companies with non-electronic procurement systems by reducing the use of
paper checks as a form of payment.


Visa Commerce is comprised of three major components — a member-branded paym
ent account, an optional Web-based user interface that simplifies the payment
process and a secure technology platform supported by VisaNet.


Visa said its member financial institutions are expected to begin piloting
Visa Commerce in the new few months with general release of the service
expected for 2003.


Visa is a membership association that is jointly owned by more than 21,000
member financial institutions around the world.

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