The Business Payments Directory Association (BPDA) has been formed as a 501 (c) (6) entity to bring to market the Business-to-Business (B2B) Directory, which is a database, or “public phone book” of business payees and payee information. It will allow payers to find the information needed to make payments to their payees electronically.
The BPDA has been organized to enable the provision of B2B directory services and related educational services that are effective, efficient and secure to businesses, financial institutions (FIs) and other service providers. Studies indicate that one of the largest barriers to increased use of electronic payments is the lack of or difficulty in acquiring the required electronic banking address to make an electronic business payment.
The B2B Directory will serve as “the” industry source for retrieving payee electronic payment information. It will store, manage, and retrieve the electronic information (i.e., “the identity”) of a payee, including account and payment information. The B2B Directory will not execute payments; it will only provide the information needed by others to execute payments. The B2B Directory:
- Enables payees to register their Electronic Payment Identity (EPI)
- Enables payers to retrieve EPIs to facilitate electronic payments
- Supports multiple payment types
- Supports related business information – e.g., remittance content and delivery preferences
- Is scalable, trustworthy, secure
- The B2B Directory’s services will include:
- Publication of the Electronic Payment Identity (EPI) data schema
- Development and operation of a central directory “node” for the exchange of payee data between Service Providers and their subdirectory nodes
- Development of a network of Credentialed Service Providers (CSP)
- Maintenance of a Payer/Payee linked data base to provide payee EPI updates to payers through their Service Providers
- Development of standard operating rules and governance
- Creation of open API interfaces for credentialed service providers to resolve a payee alias to their payment preferences.
Payee data is populated into the BPDA Directory by a Credentialed Service Provider (CSP, i.e.: bank, corporate entity, BPO service provider) or directly by the Payee. All data in the Directory must be validated for authenticity. Payee data directly populated by a Payee must be validated by a CSP nominated by the Payee. CSPs will be required to follow an agreed process for the inclusion of any payee data to ensure that corporate payees are enrolled and validated appropriately. The Directory will facilitate exchange between CSP subdirectories and cache relevant data to connect payers and payees. Directory services will be information only and will not include processing, clearing and settling of payments.