US electronic payments association Nacha has acquired the Business Payments Directory Association (BPDA) as it seeks to advance the development and deployment of a B2B payments and remittance directory.
Under the deal, the BPDA will become an independent, member-led, self-governed group under the Nacha organisation.
In August, BPDA teamed up with Discover Financial Services on a proof-of-concept platform for a B2B Directory built on blockchain technology.
The directory will be structured as a network of credentialed service provider 'sub-directories' in which trusted and validated payee information will be stored.
Credentialed service providers will allow access to the stored electronic payment information, including ACH payment details and other payment methods. Payers can query the Directory to obtain information of a single payee or multiple payees, and payees can manage their information in real time to ensure payment details are current.
The platform will use open source technologies, blockchain and standardised APIs developed by Afinis Interoperability Standards.
Nacha says that by taking BPDA under its umbrella, it will be able to use its industry heft to advance the PoC and ensure rapid delivery to the industry.
Jane Larimer, COO, Nacha, says: "Historically, B2B payments have been a challenge for the financial services industry. Businesses are often consumed with onboarding vendors, obtaining and maintaining accurate payment information and ensuring the proper remittance is included for cash application.
"As a strategic initiative, NACHA works to enable solutions that will support the easy routing, posting, and application of ACH and other payments, particularly in the B2B environment. Aligning with BPDA will allow us to develop and deliver such a solution, leveraging the recognized work and expertise of BPDA."