Straight-through processing (STP) 3.0 brings Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) processes together to refine the benefits of commercial cards for both buyers and suppliers.

Today Adflex announced the launch of STP 3.0, its unique virtual card reader technology, to enhance buyer-initiated B2B payments. It enables card numbers to automatically be read from within emails, so transactions can be processed with no additional input required from the supplier.

Buyers have long benefitted from automated user journeys enabled by virtual card providers, with suppliers typically left shouldering the burden of processing card payments manually. STP 3.0 removes cumbersome manual processes for suppliers, enabling payments to be processed via Adflex’s STP platform, whereby buyers instruct Adflex to execute a payment when an invoice is approved. At the end of the transaction, suppliers receive a branded remittance, notifying them that the payment is complete.

“STP finally levels the playing field of digital B2B payments by delivering the benefits of prompt, secure and pain-free transactions to both buyer and supplier,” said Adflex Head of Product, Pat Bermingham. “Through commercial cards, buyers can access working capital, and suppliers that accept card can achieve preferred status and access new revenue streams."

Adflex facilitates this further through its STP database, which allows businesses to search for partners that will accept and pay by card, finding potential matches whether they have a pre-existing relationship or not.

STP 3.0 also deploys a unique refund API module, allowing buyers to generate a refund request from their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, such as Oracle or SAP. This ends the widespread need for suppliers to retain virtual cards for long periods of time to manually process a refund. Adflex’s refund API can look up the original virtual card to process the refund, either at the full or partial amount for the purchase, to improve reconciliation without supplier interaction.

Bermingham added, “In partnership with an issuer, Adflex was the first European processor to execute a straight-through processing transaction, over ten years ago. Through these continued close collaborations with schemes, issuing and acquiring banks over many years, we can also offer suppliers competitive merchant service rates that increase acceptance. We believe STP 3.0 redefines the virtual card process to improve efficiency and security, making B2B payments truly digital and scalable.”

For those that prefer manual processes, Adflex has also deployed an off-the-shelf STP portal, to give buyers full control of payments and remove PCI scope for the supplier. The portal can be quickly set-up in just days, requiring no development work from either the buyer or supplier. Suppliers can use the portal to request payments, which are then settled in real-time by Adflex, once the buyer approves the invoice.

Learn more about Adflex’s STP services here.