Announcements

Westpac launches Business Link

By Michael Rom, February 16, 2016

Westpac launches Business Link – an international payments solution freeing up cash flow for businesses

Sydney, 16 February, 2016 — Westpac has today announced the launch of Business Link, a revolutionary online supply chain management platform that allows businesses to facilitate payments and manage international suppliers, saving valuable time and freeing up cash flow.

Westpac has worked with Octet, a proven supply chain management and financing platform built in Australia, to develop the Business Link trading platform. Business Link allows Westpac customers to use their existing credit cards^ to facilitate payment of goods from overseas suppliers at competitive real-time exchange rates, removing the need to disclose secure credit card information to suppliers or make up front payments via traditional methods.

Westpac Chief Product Officer, Jim Tate, said Westpac Group (including St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA) is the first major Bank in Australia to offer businesses an online platform that facilitates credit card payments to pay overseas suppliers with support for ten foreign currencies, as well as enabling business customers and their suppliers to jointly manage their workflow.

“With the increasing number of businesses trading with suppliers in a global marketplace, particularly in Asia, Business Link provides businesses with a secure end-to-end platform, which facilitates payment to international suppliers.

“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. This gives businesses the ability to free up their cash flow as well as having access to competitive real-time exchange rates, credit card interest-free periods and reward terms*. It also enables businesses to make the most of early payment benefits.

“Previously only larger commercial businesses could afford to build supply chain management tools. Now, with Business Link, our customers also have access to such tools, which also encompasses the workflow between our customers and their suppliers. Business Link is another example of our continued investment to make Australian businesses stronger.”

Westpac Business Link builds on a proven supply chain management platform from Octet, which has been used to transact nearly $1 billion in supplier payments to date, facilitating transactions between Australian small businesses and tens of thousands of suppliers across more than 60 countries, including China and India.

“With Business Link, Westpac and Octet are making the supply chain management tools that have traditionally been the realm of large enterprises accessible to SMEs by making cross-border payments and transactions between businesses frictionless,” Octet Managing Director Clive Isenberg said.

“Small businesses are bombarded each day with alternative funding but many already have a powerful tool in their pocket: their credit card. By using the credit cards they already have to facilitate suppliers both in Australia and abroad, small businesses could pay invoices earlier, negotiate potential discounts on goods with better credit terms, and may get reward points simply by going about their business. All while speeding up their supply chain significantly and removing the language barriers often faced when dealing with international suppliers.”

Customer benefits of Business Link include:

  • Frees up cash flow by using customers’ existing credit cards^ to support and facilitate payments for imports instead of tapping into cash reserves
  • Provides access to competitive real-time exchange rates
  • Saves time by consolidating the management of suppliers onto one platform – securely stores important documents such as purchase orders and invoices, as well as shipping and payment receipts. It also provides easy workflow and document management capabilities between customers and their suppliers.
  • Provides bilingual capability (English and Mandarin)
  • Enables secure international payments to suppliers, processed by Westpac and deposited directly into the supplier’s pre-registered bank account, without disclosing the Westpac customers credit card details to suppliers.

Business Link will be available to eligible Westpac Group business customers from February 2016.

About Octet
Octet is a supply chain management and financing platform that brings enterprise-grade tools to small businesses. Octet enables buyers and sellers to track, validate and authorise each step of the supply chain, with full visibility of all supporting documentation, and ability to facilitate payment through multiple methods including cash, credit cards and loan facilities.

Octet’s platform has been used by more than 1000 Australian and New Zealand importers and over 10,000 suppliers spanning 60 countries, facilitating transactions worth a total of more than $1 billion. Other users of Octet’s platform include Octet Finance (Australia and New Zealand), the Bank of Nanjing (China), Accord Financial Inc. (Canada & USA), Octet Express Payment Institution AS (Turkey) and Asia Factor Ltd (China).

About Business Link

Westpac Group is the first major bank in Australia to leverage the Octet platform and address the trade cashflow needs of their SME customers. Business Link not only reduces businesses critical timing gap between cash outflow to suppliers and cash inflows from their customers, but also offers straightforward document management. It is an end-to-end online platform that allows business customers and their suppliers to jointly manage workflow and facilitates payment for orders by using their credit cards at competitive real-time exchange rates.

Business Link will be introduced across all of the Westpac Group Banking Brands.

^ Visa and MasterCard are accepted on BusinessLink. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated

*subject to the terms of the credit card

Author

Michael Rom

CTO