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Wells Fargo teams with Oracle to speed online procurement .

Wells Fargo teams with Oracle to speed online procurement .

Wells Fargo has become the first bank to connect with Procure-to-Pay in 30 Days-Oracle's pre-integrated online procurement solution. With this new offering, Oracle has attempted to close the online procurement loop by partnering with suppliers of indirect materials on the front end and payment services on the back end.

According to the terms of the non-exclusive agreement, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo will convert and transmit electronic payments and account statements to and from the Procure-to-Pay in 30 Days solution.

By integrating with Oracle's turnkey solution, Wells Fargo will enable its more than 30,000 middle-market and corporate business customers to schedule automatic payments to trading partners and receive back statements to automatically reconcile their accounts.

"We're pleased to be partnering with an e-business technology leader such as Oracle to streamline online payment services," according to Debbie Ball, senior vice president, wholesale Internet solutions at $290 billion Wells Fargo. "Wells Fargo is ready-connected to Oracle's solution, so accessibility and implementation of these services are simple and easy."

Available as a fully hosted solution via Oracle.com, Procure-to-Pay in 30 Days encompasses the full range of purchasing activities, including pre-negotiated supplier contracts, requisitioning, purchasing, invoicing, receiving, payments, electronic banking, automatic cash reconciliation and reporting.

In addition to its arrangement with Wells Fargo, Oracle has also partnered with Atlanta-based WorldCrest, which had already negotiated contracts with suppliers for indirect materials that businesses buy every day, such as office, safety and maintenance supplies. As part of the bundled solution, companies can purchase more than 200,000 items from nine categories. Companies can also extend that list to include additional categories offered by WorldCrest or negotiate their own contracts and bring those suppliers into the system.

"We have taken pains to work with Wells Fargo as well as our other partners to integrate our solution with theirs before we go to the customer site," said Aseem Chandra, director of supply chain product marketing at Oracle. "We bring to the table all of the software necessary to provide the solution all the way through requesting goods and services and eventually paying for them."

Once goods are delivered, the Oracle solution sends payment

instructions to the Wells Fargo network. The bank processes the ACH payments to enable payments from the buyer's bank to the seller's bank, and sends an electronic bank statement back to the Oracle system, which reconciles the information and identifies any red flags.

Another point of integration is taking a general ledger feed out of the system and delivering it to the buyer's general ledger. "We're eliminating all of those integration points and we're giving you one integration point, which is through the GL feed," said Chandra.

Building the integration into Oracle's solution required very little investment by the bank and took only about a month to complete, with the majority of that time spent testing. "We accept payment files today electronically for a lot of our customers, so this was just extending that capability," said Ball. "We also send electronic bank statements today to customers electronically, so we're just packaging those products together and integrating them, which is a really big win for the customer."

Wells Fargo's fees for processing the ACH payments will vary based on its relationship with the customer. "We're certainly doing ACH transactions for some customers already, so the pricing would not differ from what we're already doing with those customers," said Ball.

The two companies will first target their joint customers.

Implementations are in the works, according to Chandra, and the first transactions are expected to be processed within the next few months. "We're working on a couple of implementations and expect to see this very soon," he said.

Through its integration with the Oracle product, the bank is also presented with opportunities to pick up new cash management account customers. "We are first targeting our joint customers, but if they're not an initial customer of Wells Fargo and they sign up for Oracle's Procure to Pay service, then we'll certainly set them up as a customer," said Ball.

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