Viewpost Expands SME Network With Visa Partnership

  • Grace Noto
  • March 28, 2017
  • 1

Check payments have survived another year. Maybe introducing “virtual cards” to small businesses will help change that.

B2B invoicing and payments company Viewpost has partnered with Visa to enable digital payments for small and medium businesses.

Viewpost will process the payments, now using Visa’s rails for electronic bill payments, as opposed to costly and slow checks.

“We are bringing the ability to make vendor-based payments using tokenized, single-use payments that traditionally haven’t been available to these SMEs,” said Max Eliscu, CEO of Viewpost. “The virtual card market right now is large institutions and government entities. Viewpost and Visa have worked together here to change that.”

Approximately 20-30% of current payment activity via check — depending on the industry — can be replaced with “virtual cards,” according to Eliscu.

While larger financial institutions and businesses can typically afford to install the infrastructure for electronic payments—which takes about six weeks—SMEs lack that luxury, which means they cling to the familiarity and (relative) security of checks.

Using Visa’s tokenization capabilities, a small business will be able to pay a vendor online using a one-time account number, protecting the real account details (which, as Eliscu pointed out, happens to be printed onto checks). The partnership will allow SMEs to make faster payments to their vendors, while giving the security of those payments a quite necessary overhaul.

“The advantage of tokenization is that the information that is shared has no value,” said Eliscu.

The increased speed of the transactions is another benefit, Eliscu noted. A typical check payment by an SME could take as long as seven days to complete, while a card payment normally clears the same or the next day.

Any card-issuing bank can support the system; Viewpost is currently in the “implementation” stages with several banks in the U.S., according to the company.

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