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OB10 # 6 – Abbey UK Partners with OB10 and becomes a customer at the same time!

According to the press release today, OB10 has announced a partnership with Abbey UK Corporate Banking, part of Santander Group. The emphasis is on cash flow benefits and processing cost savings to businesses in the UK, Europe and internationally. According to the press release:

The new service, Supplier Payments, is aimed at large corporates, mid-corporates and public sector entities who wish to make their supply chains more competitive by improving working capital management and cutting the costs of Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable processing.

Nothing new here! According to David Goucher, Managing Director of Abbey UK Corporate Banking

?Supplier Payments is a proven global working capital solution that allows your suppliers to be paid quickly while you realise value through extended payment terms or lower cost of goods and services. The solution enhances business?s cashflow, reduces cost and strengthens supply chains. Integration with OB10’s global e-Invoicing network accelerates the Supplier Payments benefits, invoices can be processed quicker, costs are reduced and it completes the purchase-to-pay cycle with e-remittance advices.?

Ah! does this means OB10 can now cater for exchanging remittance advices electronically? If so, then that is a positive development for OB10. What took you so long? Other hubs have been offering these services for number of years. Better late than never!

Abbey is leveraging Santander Group?s technology and extensive experience in reverse factoring – a specialist form of supply chain finance – to enable suppliers to be paid quickly at a lower financial cost than generally available to small and medium enterprises through more traditional borrowing products. This in turn helps large buyers at the top of the supply chain to extract value through benefits such as free Supplier Payments, lower cost of goods or an extension in trade credit terms.

Yes! its all about stretching the invoice cycle (time between raising an invoice and actually seen the cash in your bank account), which is generally termed as supply chain finance. The purchaser wants to pay as late as possible. Supplier wants the money yesterday. Here comes the invoice financing industry to fill the gap. Supplier gets bit less money as fees and commissions have to be paid. But 90-95% money in the bank today is better than waiting 30 to 90 days. To fully understand their offering, one need to engage in a detailed discussion.

So, let’s hear from Jamie Gunn, CEO of OB10

?The partnership will provide the next level of e-Invoicing, something quite revolutionary within the buyer/supplier relationship. By combining OB10?s knowledge of global invoicing with Santander Group?s extensive experience in supply chain financing customers will be able to leverage a unique solution to deliver significant cash flow benefits as well as processing cost savings.?

Now what I am still not sure is what additional functionality has OB10 added to their standard product. Rumour is that they are building added functionality. This was hinted by Jamie when I met him earlier this year. So has he done it? Is this the first of a series of announcements?

Marcus Hughes, new Head of Financial Supply Chain Solutions at Abbey says:

?This joint proposition from Abbey and OB10 gives us a unique position in the market, combining faster cash flow with efficient processing and improved control and visibility. The accelerated matching and approval of invoices and purchase orders enables us to purchase receivables from suppliers earlier in the trade cycle, hence delivering faster cash flow to suppliers.?

Did I hear it right, matching invoices and purchase orders! Is this within OB10 functionality block or outside it? The last sentence almost sounded as it is Abbey UK who has bought the product/service from OB10, rather than offering a joint proposition to the market. I am confused? If one is confused, there is only one thing to do, yes you guessed right, pick up the phone.


  • Left voice mail for Clare Briggs at OB10.
  • Spoke to Steve Ainger, Press Officer at Abbey. Perhaps I will hear from Marcus Hughes, who knows. Does Abbey speaks to bloggers?

It’s not worth hassling Jamie Gunn for this, even though this is strategically important for the UK market place. With respect to Supply Chain Finance, Burns e-Commerce is trying to do something similar and others are way behind. Yet as expected Americans are way ahead of us – hence the recent acquisitions by JP Morgan Chase and American Express into Xign and Harbor Payments respectively. When is Accountis going to bring a similar solution with, you know who?


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