The New York Clearing House Association has upgraded its Clearing House Interbank Payment System by letting users include invoice information with the electronic payments normally handled by the international funds transfer system.
The 59 members of the private bank consortium, including most major banking companies worldwide, have completed testing and will begin promoting the service, which was announced Wednesday, to their corporate customers, said John Mohr, chief operating officer of Chips.
Payers using the system, which handles transactions averaging $5 million, now can send up to 9,000 characters of data with a payment, enough to include information like invoice numbers, remittance and discount details, and rebates whatever details are necessary to match payments back with what was shipped, Mr. Mohr said.
Bill Nelson, executive director of Nacha, the electronic payments association, said the new service offers a better solution for business-to-business e-commerce than has existed in the past for large payments.
Its one thing to get money electronically, but you want to know what its for, Mr. Nelson said. This is the first of its kind for that. That is what makes it exciting.
Chips announced its intention to provide electronic invoices with payments in February when it adopted real-time finality, a feature in which the system matches interbank transactions so payments can be settled within seconds.
Jeffrey Neubert, president and chief executive officer of the New York Clearing House Association, said that with the finality feature and the new ability to add invoice information, we have created a total B-to-B solution for banks and corporate customers.
Mr. Mohr said that large multinational customers would probably be the first to take advantage of the service, but he predicted it would also be widely adopted among smaller customers to help them track payments more efficiently.
The major multinationals have the most to gain immediately and the deep pockets needed to enhance their systems to support the new feature, Mr. Mohr said. They also face cross-border trading situations that require timely and information-rich transactions, he said.