Ariba and American Express on Wednesday announced the UK launch of their joint procurement and payment product, AP Plus.
AP Plus has been available in the US for several years — this launch begins the introduction of the product to other markets around the world.
"The launch of AP Plus in the UK is a great step forward for suppliers and buyers because it saves customers time and money by providing a seamless, accurate and real-time purchasing and reconciliation solution," said John Bostock, head of Corporate Purchasing Solutions, EMEA, American Express.
The joint offering has automated electronic procurement and payment functions, and allows data capture, data reconciliation and real-time online reporting, according to Ariba.
AP Plus also allows users to see transaction detail. This detail includes online status updates and transaction history for card authorisation, settlement and purchase order transactions. Additionally, a complimentary help desk and online portal are available to AP Plus suppliers.
AP Plus also "eliminates the need for suppliers to have separate point-of-sale systems that require manual entry and carry the risk of administration errors", the company said in a statement.
"Suppliers will see significant improvements," said Paul Hampton, Ariba's marketing director for Northern Europe. According to Ariba, AP Plus is the only purchasing card solution that eliminates the need for a third party point-of-sale system. In doing so, it streamlines the process of accrediting suppliers and minimises manual data entry errors, which should speed up payment.