US-based payments company American Express is partnering with Bluechain, a request to pay (RtP) focused fintech startup, to optimise the supplier payment process for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

As a result of the collaboration, small business owners will be able to centrally handle, pay, and reconcile supplier invoices from a single dashboard on desktop or mobile device. This will help to tackle the resource intensive invoice management for small business owners while using multiple different systems, said the payments company.

American Express international card services commercial partnerships and innovation vice president Carolina Castillo said: “Our partnership with Bluechain is another example of how we support SMEs and gives them greater choice when it comes to paying and reconciling invoices, giving them back valuable time so they can continue to build business success.” 

Through the integration, SME owners can reduce the time and resources spent on manual admin with an easy billing and payment process, which optimises operations and automates time-consuming tasks including data entry and bookkeeping.

Besides, it will facilitate better visibility and control over cashflow as SMEs can opt for the method, time, and place to pay.

Bluechain CEO Tim Annis said: “With our successful launches in Australia and the UK, this partnership presents a major step for Bluechain to support a global audience.

“Combining the reach of American Express with the technology of Bluechain is a fantastic opportunity to deliver tangible benefits for SMEs that go beyond payments and into process efficiency.”

American Express’ existing business customers can pay an invoice using their Amex Card, whether or not the requesting merchant accepts American Express.

Furthermore, business owners can easily link their accounting system to Bluechain’s platform for tracking and reconciliation in real time, which would streamline the entire bill management process.

Earlier this year, American Express agreed to acquire Israel-based business-to-business (B2B) payments automation firm Nipendo.

The acquisition was taken up by American Express to further its mission of developing an end-to-end B2B platform which will facilitate more easier and efficient business payments.