In a Sentence: Bank Australia were looking for a payments solution to fit seamlessly into their SAP Concur system, and power the final payments leg of their AP process.
About Bank Australia
Bank Australia exists to inspire and empower its customers to use their money to create a world where people and the planet thrive. Bank Australia is 100% customer owned, a certified B Corp and aims to be Australia’s most trusted bank. Its commitment to clean money means it focusses on lending and investments in areas that create positive impact for people and the planet. Founded in 1957, the bank now supports more than 180,000 customers and is the custodians of more than $9 billion in assets.
$139 million AUD (2020-21)
$40.7 million AUD (up 107%)
$8.5 billion AUD (up 17.6%)
|Loans funded |
$1.95 Billion AUD
The challenge for Bank Australia came when they learned that SAP Concur, the system they were using for their Accounts Payable (AP) process, were removing the final payments function on their system. SAP Concur recommend TransferMate as an ideal solution as their Payments Hub platform had established API connections with SAP Concur and was designed specifically for this critical task.
‘We started the conversation with TransferMate very early on following the recommendation from SAP Concur. Very quickly from our conversations with the TransferMate team we could see the way it would work within our process’ said Duncan Macdonald, Head of Business Performance Management at Bank Australia. ‘What was a pleasant surprise was how the product matched up to those initial expectations, and how smoothly the onboarding and implementation went from there.’
Beyond replacing the payment leg of the SAP Concur payment process and having seamless connectivity with the Concur platform, Bank Australia also wanted a solution that would fit into their automation agenda – one that was secure, kept data protected and up-to-date, and allowed all users to have full transparency over the payment process.
For such a major and important part in the accounts payable infrastructure, the implementation of TransferMate’s solution was remarkably quick.
‘It was seamless. If we’re talking about the total amount of time to turn it all around? I’d say no more than two working days of effort spread over a week. We had a master file with maybe 1,200 individual bank account details and verifying those bank details did take time but, once it was ready for upload, we had a simple script that took all those details from SAP Concur and plugged it straight into TransferMate’s platform without any problems. The instructions were clear, support was on-hand and the templates worked.’
That implementation process has been built upon since those early days using further API developed features. Of the four API additions Bank Australia requested, three were completed within a short timeframe, with a confirmed date for the fourth.
‘We’re really happy with the way implementation has evolved to our needs. It gives us confidence that there’ll be additional things that get sharpened as more customers join the platform, and the platform grows. We couldn’t really ask for anything more in terms of the work done.’
Additional features, such as a payment status notification that allowed the Bank Australia team to confirm when the payment has been paid, and automatically fed back into the Concur platform, was also welcomed.
‘There’s new legislation in Australia where we’re having to, on a six-monthly basis, report our payment frequency and terms of payment to our small business suppliers. So, having that cycle back into Concur was vital; it allowed us to have an accurate record of the end-to-end cycle times for each vendor payment.’
Bank Australia had four big requirements to solve, and TransferMate fulfilled all of them.
With the connectivity to Concur, TransferMate were able to seamlessly integrate their solution into the platform and make the payment leg of the Concur payments process as powerful as ever.
The TransferMate platform gave full transparency over the payment process for all users, and the user experience is something the Bank Australia team has highlighted.
‘We’ve really been able to use the in-built features in the system to drive an efficient workflow. We had that workflow via Concur, but it wasn’t as simple as it is in TransferMate. The platform looks and feels like those online experiences that we use every day; it’s very simple to navigate and find your way around. You don’t need a lot of training on it, whereas with a lot of other systems you need to be an informed user even before you open up the platform. The team are really happy with it.’
The security elements were another bonus to the Bank Australia team, with the strong anti-fraud and money laundering features built into the platform, as well as keeping data up-to-date.
‘Accounts payable’s can be a bit of a thankless task. If things are going well, you don’t hear anything – only when they go wrong. As someone who is responsible for the accounts payable function in the organization, you’re always worried about the risk of payments being made to fraudulent bank accounts etc. And, while we can never remove the risk in its entirety, the TransferMate protections – particularly the verification and the dual approval of changes to bank account details or vendors being added to the system – removes a bit of that risk and gives me the reassurance that the data we have inside our payment master file is accurate.’
Their automation agenda was also supported through the integration of the platform. While some steps needed to be added at the outset, such as how they set-up new suppliers on the platform, these steps also help keep that crucial data in the master file accurate from the beginning.
‘We’ve really been pushing the automation agenda from the corporate office, and that was a big selection point for TransferMate – everything was done inside the platform.’
The Final Word
‘I’d recommend TransferMate. The API connectivity with Concur is seamless and impressive, the implementation and support since launch have been excellent, the transparency from the team throughout the process has been really good, and I’m excited about product developments coming on-line.’Duncan Macdonald, Head of Business Performance Management at Bank Australia
If you’re a SAP Concur client and want to leverage TransferMate’s global payments infrastructure for your organization by integrating the two platforms, contact the team here.