Westpac has launched a new online platform aimed at Australian businesses to help them manage international payments and suppliers.
The bank’s Business Link is an online supply chain management platform has come about through a partnership with Octet, a supply chain management and financing platform built in Australia.
The platform allows Westpac customers to use their existing credit cards to facilitate payment of goods from overseas suppliers at competitive real-time exchange rates, removing the need to disclose secure credit card information to suppliers or make up front payments via traditional methods.
According to Jim Tate, Westpac’s chief product officer, Westpac Group (including St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA) is the first major Bank in Australia to offer businesses an online platform that facilitates credit card payments to pay overseas suppliers with support for ten foreign currencies, as well as enabling business customers and their suppliers to jointly manage their workflow.
“With the increasing number of businesses trading with suppliers in a global marketplace, particularly in Asia, Business Link provides businesses with a secure end-to-end platform, which facilitates payment to international suppliers,” he explains.
“We know many Chinese exporters do not accept credit card payments due to merchant restrictions and, as a result, many Australian businesses are unable to utilise funds sitting dormant on their credit cards,” Tate says.
“By working with Octet, we can now offer business customers the ability to now use their credit card instead of tapping into cash reserves to make payments,” he adds.
”This gives businesses the ability to free up their cash flow as well as having access to competitive real-time exchange rates, credit card interest-free periods and reward terms.
“It also enables businesses to make the most of early payment benefits.”
Tate says only larger commercial businesses could afford to build supply chain management tools.
“Now, with Business Link, our customers also have access to such tools, which also encompasses the workflow between our customers and their suppliers,” he explains.
“Business Link is another example of our continued investment to make Australian businesses stronger.”
Octet managing director Clive Isenberg says Westpac Business Link builds on a proven supply chain management platform from Octet, which has been used to transact nearly $1 billion in supplier payments to date, facilitating transactions between Australian small businesses and tens of thousands of suppliers across more than 60 countries, including China and India.
“With Business Link, Westpac and Octet are making the supply chain management tools that have traditionally been the realm of large enterprises accessible to SMEs by making cross-border payments and transactions between businesses frictionless,” says Isenberg.
“Small businesses are bombarded each day with alternative funding but many already have a powerful tool in their pocket: their credit card,” he explains.
“By using the credit cards they already have to facilitate suppliers both in Australia and abroad, small businesses could pay invoices earlier, negotiate potential discounts on goods with better credit terms, and may get reward points simply by going about their business.
“All while speeding up their supply chain significantly and removing the language barriers often faced when dealing with international suppliers.”