​Westpac targets SMBs with launch of Business Link

Westpac, together with Octet, has developed the Business Link trading platform to help SMBs facilitate payments, particularly with international suppliers.

Westpac has announced it will be launching its latest platform, Business Link, to help its small to medium business customers facilitate payments and manage international suppliers.

The bank has worked with supply chain management and financing platform provider Octet to develop the Business Link trading platform, which will be made available from this month.

According to Westpac, Business Link will allow Westpac customers use their existing credit cards to facilitate payment of goods from overseas suppliers at real-time exchange rates, remove the need to disclose secure credit card information to suppliers, or make upfront payments via traditional methods.

Westpac chief product officer Jim Tate said the decision to introduce Business Link is to help businesses who are increasingly trading with international suppliers, particularly in Asia, facilitate online payments to international suppliers on a secure end-to-end platform. The platform has been designed to provide bilingual capability between English and Mandarin.

"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. 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 said.

At the same time, Tate said Business Link will give SMBs access to technology that was only previously affordable for larger commercial businesses.

Last November, Westpac reported its St George Bank arm was reaping the benefits after introducing Business Connect, St George's video capability to connect SMB customers directly to business banking specialists. It reported at the time that St George Bank saw a 3 percent jump in customers during the 2015 full year.

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