Integrate Payment Cards into Your SAP Financial Supply Chain

  • by Eric Bushman, Director of SAP Solutions, Paymetric Inc.
  • September 15, 2005
Starting with R/3 Release 4.0A, you can integrate payment card functionality into your SAP system. Avoid mid-project surprises by reviewing the process and specific system requirements.
Key Concept

The cross-application Payment Card Interface is available in SAP R/3 in releases 4.0A and above, including the latest mySAP ERP release. In addition, other SAP products such as CRM, Internet Sales, and Biller Direct incorporate payment card functionality. The Payment Card Interface provides the technical tools necessary to enable Remote Function Call (RFC) communication to SAP R/3. Additionally, the connection to a network processor or clearinghouse requires either an Internet gateway or frame relay connection.

Increasingly, organizations that use SAP are exploring payment card acceptance as a component of their financial supply chains. In addition to labor savings, accepting payment cards can free up working capital by reducing days of sales outstanding (DSO) and decrease exposure to accounts receivables risk by shifting the liability to the banks issuing the customers' cards.

Companies can realize these benefits when card transactions are integrated with their ERP systems. You can incorporate line-item detail into complex transactions for reduced discount rates and increased purchase information. Data and workflows are integrated with systems and business operations for greater efficiency across the enterprise. The visibility, reliability, and timeliness of financial information also lead to improved Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance. I'm going to give you an overview of payment card processing and then explain the specific requirements for using the cross-application Payment Card Interface.

The Processing Environment

Payment card transaction processing requires managed access to the financial networks positioned between the merchant and the buyer (Figure 1). A customer requests goods or services from the merchant. Upon collecting the customer's payment card data, the merchant sends an authorization request to the credit card issuing bank.

Eric Bushman

Eric Bushman specializes in payment card processing and integration within the SAP Payment Card Interface, including consumer cards, corporate cards, purchase cards, and debit cards. He works closely with Paymetric's Fortune-class customers to integrate payment card workflows with native SAP sales and accounting operations. He served as the integration lead for payment card processing in the first credit card integration with SAP's R/3 (SD and FI) product for Nuskin in 1997, and as the integration lead for payment card processing in the first credit card integration with SAP's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product for iLogistix in 2000. Prior to becoming an independent SAP integration consultant in 1996, he was a consultant for Price Waterhouse. Eric will be a featured speaker at the ASUG CRM Forum in Phoenix this October.

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