Xero has announced plans to bring what it describes as a world-first banking model to Australia for business to business payments.
The online accounting software firm made the announcement following a joint initiative with Commonwealth Bank New Zealand subsidiary ASB Bank.
The partnership began at the beginning of 2013, with automated provisioning launched earlier this year.
The software currently integrates Xero Cloud based accounting software and the FastNet Business service from ASB.
The company said the software will streamline business-to-business payments. According to Xero, small business owners, bookkeepers, or accountants will be able to prepare statements using the software and send them securely to FastNet Business. The recipient can then check and authorise payments, saving several hours a month according to the firm.
Xero said with customer consent, data could flow between the two entities. Business would be able to send financial data to the bank for payments, loan applications or signing up to additional services.
Xero product manager banking, integration and experience, Matt Vickers, said the innovation allows the company to improve and simplify the workflow process between accounting and banking.
“We see this model as the future of banking and believe it’s a logical step for Australian banks to incorporate this technology and become a standard banking service over the next few years.”
"What we have developed is not exclusive. Any bank could integrate this system into their banking platform"
Vickers said the firm had proven the model and has experienced a lot of positive feedback about the service through social media. Xero are currently in discussion with a number of Australian banks about integration of the service to existing online banking platforms.
The service is available to Xero customers who use ASB’s FastNet Business online banking platform.