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2015 Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award: And the Winner Is…

Feature Article | October 22, 2015 by Paul Taylor

Forget the checkbook! The AribaPay system is set to transform B2B payments making them simpler, more secure and more like their consumer counterparts like ApplePay and PayPal.

AribaPay, an innovative new paperless B2B payment system that makes it easier, more reliable and more secure for companies to pay their suppliers, has won the 2015 Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award, SAP’s “innovation Oscar.”

SAP CEO Bill McDermott played master of ceremonies opening the envelope containing the name of this year’s award winner at a ceremony in New York. He paid tribute to the team that developed AribaPay, which he said embodied the true spirit of the award that he introduced for the first time last year in honor of SAP Co-Founder Hasso Plattner. “I think this truly is the most prestigious award in the information technology industry and I’m extremely proud of it.”

AribaPay was picked from among 10 finalists and 187 nominations involving more than 1,800 employees for the award this year. Over $10 billion in payments have been processed on the AribaPay platform since it was launched in July last year. If legacy volume from a prior platform that is being merged into AribaPay is included, the number rises to more than $40 billion.

McDermott said it had been “a real challenge” to pick the winner, but he praised the AribaPay developers for their courage, teamwork, and dedication in developing a truly innovative and useful application that he said has the potential to fundamentally change the way B2B payments are handled and make them as simple, certain and secure as consumer payments.

McDermott’s comments were echoed by Steve Singh, SAP Global Managing Board member, Business Network Group, and CEO of Concur. “With AribaPay the team demonstrated out-of-the-box thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit by turning the traditional payments industry on its head. And it is catching fire among companies around the world,” said Singh.

“A sincere thanks and congratulations to the entire AribaPay team for having the courage to take risks. And for pushing the limits of what is possible for us – and our customers around the world. These are the risks that the SAP founders took in 1972 – and this is why you have been so deservedly recognized.”

Accepting the award on behalf of his team Phil Beck, general manager of the AribaPay business, described the win as “unbelievable.” He added, “It hasn’t been easy, but I’m supported by a wonderful team.”

Beck noted that the team had set out with a big goal: “We weren’t interested in building a new product that used the same old approach to payments. We wanted to create something totally new that would completely redefine how a B2B payment is done.”

Despite the growth of the digital economy, more than six out of every 10 B2B payments between businesses in the U.S. are still made using checks, which then have to be reconciled to other information, for example purchase orders and invoices. That means lots of paper and inefficiencies that cost companies billions each year.

AribaPay overcomes these problems and improves upon AHC (automated clearing house) electronic payments by linking an electronic payment directly to the remittance data and giving companies and their suppliers more confidence, more efficiency and more visibility into their payments.

It  also allows on-demand payment track-and-trace capability — permitting for the first time a bird’s-eye view on where payments are at any time in the settlement process — something that ACH cannot provide today.

This means it eliminates the need for suppliers to make phone calls chasing payments and the need for buyers to store and secure supplier bank account information. With AribaPay, buyers can complete the procure-to-pay process simply, securely, and with a high degree of certainty about who is paying, to whom, for what, and when.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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