Basware Oyj Market Forecast: Blockchain may eliminate fraud in buyer-supplier processes
Gene J. Koprowski May 14, 2018
A Helsinki-based, publicly traded accounting software developer, Basware Oyj (BAS: IV) forecasts that blockchain technology may dramatically eliminate fraud in buyer-and-supplier processes during the next three-to five years, but that artificial intelligence (AI) may have an even bigger edge in the short-term for accounts payable applications.
In an interview with Block.News, Sami Peltonen, vice presidentof purchase to pay product manageemnt at Basware, walks readers through the changes that one can reasonably expect in the short-term and long-term.
“Blockchain is expected to have a disrupting impact on procurement; however there are still a number of unsolved problems with broader B2B adoption, such as those related to data privacy, for example,” said Peltonen. “As such, we can expect that other technologies, specifically artificial intelligence, will have a bigger impact on improving companies’ processes related to procurement and accounts payable (AP) automation in the short term.”
Automated Voice Processing
Look for multiple machine learning innovations, including automated invoice processing, predicting late payments and helping procurement end-users with an intelligent chatbot apps, to come to market, soon, based on that kind of strategic thinking.
For the long-term, blockchain may help manage cash flow and even mitigate supply chain disruption.
“In the longer term, blockchain is expected to have a game-changing impact on procurement and AP automation,” said Peltonen. “The key concept of blockchain is the ability to allow data to be shared among network participants with a high integrity. This is expected to yield many benefits – such as improved compliance, the elimination of fraud, and transaction-less integration between buyer and supplier processes, where both parties can share the same data – which lead to faster throughput times.”
New blockchain-base “smart contracts” can be implemented to execute complex contract structures and thus automate compliance of operative procure-to-pay (P2P) processes, he added.
A blockchain, originally called block chain, is a continuously accumulating list of records, called blocks, which are connected and secured using cryptography. Each block generally contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. Blockchain is resistent to modification of data.
That means that the long-term play is blockchain technology. “With straight-through processing (STP), companies will be able to reduce manual work, and immediate throughput will enable them to maximize the usage of working capital,” said Peltonen. “Improved supplier relationships not only lead to savings, but also increase competiveness, eventually driving business growth. However, it’s important to remember many of these benefits are achievable today with the latest data-based P2P innovations.”
Engineers are already leaving other software-based sectors of the economy to take jobs in blockchain development, another expert says, supporting Basware’s forecast of the technology trend.
“To some extent it’s just a matter of time; we’re starting to see an flood of engineers and computer scientists from Wall Street and traditional tech firms. On the education side, university groups like Blockchain at Berkeley are training hundreds of young engineers that have already started working on leading projects,” said Wes Levitt, the marketing and analytics director at Theta Labs. “emand for blockchain engineers has grown exponentially over the past few years.”