MasterCard International is partnering with e-payments company Velosant on a system that MasterCard hopes will encourage companies to use its corporate purchasing cards more often and for bigger, more complicated transactions. Earlier this year, MasterCard introduced e-P3, which links p-card transactions to electronic purchase orders, invoices and receipt of goods. When e-P3 is integrated with Velosant's BillingZone electronic invoice presentment and payment service this September, it will produce a fully automated financial supply chain, the two companies say.

Most importantly, the system will allow companies using p-cards to get complete line-item data on any purchase. Philip Philliou, MasterCard's vice president for e-business and emerging technologies, says such detailed data is the "holy grail" for p-card users. Given that data, plus other benefits like ease of use and greater security, Philliou hopes companies will move "all of the small-dollar transactions" onto p-cards; he defined those as transactions under $10,000.

Henry Ijams, a managing partner at Paystream Advisors, says that "it seems to us like a natural progression of where p-card has been, to move up tier in terms of dollar size and transaction complexity."

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