Citigroup (www.citigroup.com) and SAP are to incorporate Citibank payment services into the mySAP.com business-to-business procurement solution and SAPMarkets marketplaces.
The two companies say the integration effort will enable businesses to streamline financial settlement processes by connecting corporate buyers, suppliers and banks using XML payment standards. As part of the programme, Citibank payment services will accommodate same or cross-currency transactions and provide payment settlement for suppliers dealing with unknown buyers.
Interfaces between mySAP.com and Citibank will use the mySAP.com Business Connector and XML payment formats. Citibank and SAP are currently developing a direct XML interface to allow mySAP.com customers to send any type of corporate payment file directly from their financial system to Citibank without the need for EDI translations or other interchange functions.
"This partnership allows Citibank's customers to do business directly with their business partners without having to do any special processing for financial services," says Citigroup's Jorge Bermudez, executive vice president, and head of e-business.
Adds Ashish Bajaj, a Citi e-business vice president: "We are designing additional marketplace services requested by our customers using mySAP.com, such as payments directly from loans and leases set up through the SAP Marketplaces."
Bill Pollie, vice president of financial services for SAP America comments: "Integration of payment services into the electronic or virtual marketplaces will truly globalise the economy for all business - small, medium and large buyers and sellers."
Companies using the combined system will be able to initiate accounting and payment processes at the point of purchase with the click of a mouse. The system will also ease the pain of developing relationships among trading partners that either have not established "terms and conditions" for payment or that were previously unknown to each other say the partners.