American Express (AMEX) recently introduced Early Pay, a new early payment option for large U.S. companies that buy goods and services from U.S. suppliers. Buyers get discounts if they pay suppliers earlier than their due date. This speeds up B2B payments to suppliers, improving modern supply chain efficiency. Early Pay increases cash flow, generates working capital, and makes the supplier payment process more efficient. Suppliers have access to an easy-to-use digital platform, promoting earlier payment at a competitively priced payment discount.
AMEX noted that Early Pay streamlines the vendor payment process for large corporate buyers, while accelerating cash flow for vendors. “Access to money and improving efficiency are crucial for the growth of both corporations and the companies they work with,” said Gina Taylor Cotter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Commercial Financing at American Express.
The fine print
There are no implementation, setup, or ongoing maintenance charges for buyers that sign up. In addition, buyers can choose how they want to fund early payments to suppliers. The options include funding the payments on their own, or using the AMEX fund option and paying AMEX on the original payment date.
Early Pay also does not require suppliers to complete lengthy on-boarding, sign difficult paperwork, or pay an enrollment fee; suppliers don’t even have to be AMEX merchants. Simply put, there is no catch.
What this means for supply chains
With companies being able to leverage their accounts payable to reduce costs of goods sold and services, there will be an increase in cash flow and working capital for the entire company. This means supply chains will have more flexibility in what and how many items they plan to order. The entire supply chain will also speed up, eliminating the bottleneck of waiting for an invoice to be paid.
It is still too early to see all of the downstream impacts of Early Pay, but many have high expectations, including Vanguard. If you would like to take a deeper dive into the supply chain impacts of Early Pay, reach out to a Vanguard supply chain planning specialist.