Westpac has joined forces with SAP to bring out a straight-through payment software that is aimed squarely at Australia's top 200 corporations.
Westpac is looking to be the first bank in Australia to bring out a one-step payment software that ties in with SAP enterprise resource management (ERP) systems.
The pair have been working on the software for 18 months using SAP's NetWeaver Process Integration technology. Once completed, the software will allow organisations using SAP ERP to connect directly to Westpac's transactional banking system, so they can receive and make payments, as well as manage their bank statements in real-time.
"When we say corporations, we are talking about those that have a turnover of AU$500 million or more," Westpac Institutional Bank head of innovation Make Baldwin told ZDNet. "They have so many payments they have to manage, and this solution will make it a single and straight forward process."
"In terms of size of the opportunity, out of the top 200 corporations in Australia, roughly 70 percent use SAP."
According to Baldwin, some of those companies may still be using pen and paper processes to manage their payments. The new SAP software, he said, will save them time and increase productivity.
Customers are not required to upgrade their hardware, and simply have to download the Westpac software from SAP's service portal "at a minimal cost," once it is available.
"All that is needed is for the customer software to be reconfigured, which requires minimal time and investment," SAP General Manager for Banking in Australia and New Zealand Stuart Pike said in a statement.
The idea came from a Westpac product manager, and the bank later approached SAP to see if it was feasible.
Baldwin said that Westpac will not be engaging with other ERP providers in the near future as it will have its hands full with working with SAP.
Westpac aims to finish testing and start piloting the software by late March 2013.