07 June 2001 | Robin Parker
American Express has launched an online payment service for international business-to-business procurement in more than 160 currencies.
Users send foreign currency payments over the Internet from their bank accounts into those of the payee. They can also manage their lists of suppliers, access transaction history and track individual payments.
By using a framework entirely based on existing American Express processes, users can save time and money, John Howells, the company's director of foreign exchange, told SM. "Unlike with many banks, there is no additional software. All the user needs is a PC, which can access the account from anywhere in the world with no set-up charges or additional software."
Transfer costs around £10 for a transaction, although this is negotiable. "There is a margin spread on currency transaction, and savings are dependent on the volume of use," he added.
The company expects small and medium-sized companies to make the biggest savings from the system.