MasterCard to tie purchasing data to ERP systems

MasterCard International Inc. plans to extend future versions of its SmartLink procurement integration software to support ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems from Oracle Corp., PeopleSoft Inc., and J.D. Edwards & Co., officials at the company's Global e-Business Conference said Tuesday.

SmartLink, first introduced for SAP AG R/3 systems in May, aims to link procurement information from MasterCard's Corporate Purchasing Cards to ERP systems. This bond helps streamline corporate procurement and expense processes, which can result in reduced costs and speedier operations, company officials said.

Support for Oracle's ERP offering is planned for the fourth quarter of this year, with additional integration with PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards slated for early next year.

The software lets businesses automatically collect purchasing data, approve transactions, generate invoices, and make payments without waiting to receive monthly statements. Additionally, SmartLink enables administrators to generate transaction data specific to any corporate cardholder at any point of purchase, according to Philip Philliou, vice president of e-commerce and emerging technologies at MasterCard, in Purchase, New York.

"Integrating Purchasing Card (information) with ERP allows corporations to fully leverage their ERP systems. The corporate customer wants to integrate the process from the purchase order to the invoice," Philliou said.

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