Afternoon Coffee: Basware offers new AP Pro interface; WTO says global trade may hit Depression-era level; SoftBank loses billions in startup tech investments

Basware, a provider of procure-to-pay solutions, is implementing a new user interface and functionality for AP automation to enhance invoice processing and exception handling, the provider announced. The new AP Pro interface is designed for professional users and is based off customer feedback and enhancement requests.

The new Basware interface features a dashboard with improved functionality for all AP tasks and utilizes machine learning and AI to remove bottlenecks and accelerate payments, according to a press release. “It means less paper, decreased handling of physical documents and fewer manual interventions," said Olav Maas, Basware's Director of AP Automation Products, in the press release.

Spend Matters recently added a vendor ranking category for AP Automation vendors in our SolutionMap benchmark. Basware is one of six vendors in the AP Automation category. It is ranked as a "Value Leader," meaning a top-performing solution that has high marks from customers. See the rankings here.

Additionally, Basware is converting some of its in-person Basware Connect sessions into webinars over the next eight weeks due to the coronavirus canceling its Las Vegas conference. The full list of webinars can be found here.

World Trade Organization forecasts global trade falloff

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has announced that global merchandise trade will decline in every region of the world and most sectors of the economy in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, according to a report from Supply Chain Dive. The WTO provided two forecasts for economic impacts.

The optimistic scenario sees the global economy decline by 13% year over year (YoY). This is a similar dip as seen during the Great Recession. The pessimistic view sees the global economy drop by 32% YoY, similar to the dip seen during the Great Depression. The report claims that the discrepancy between the two numbers is due to the “unprecedented nature” of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the report, the WTO predicts that trade levels will be worse than they were during the Great Recession. However, if the pandemic is brought under control soon, global trade could rebound to their pre-pandemic levels as early as 2021.

SoftBank warns of losses in startup investments

SoftBank, the Japanese tech investment firm, has announced its first operating loss in 15 years, according to a new report from CNN. SoftBank said it expected an operating loss of $12.5 billion in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2020. The losses were heavily due to a combination of anti-coronavirus measures — social distancing and travel restrictions — that took a heavy toll on investments in startup tech companies. Many of the company’s investments include stakes in companies in the ride-hailing, robotics and agricultural industries, among others.

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Through this month, a Spend Matters' special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off. The discount applies to PRO subscription content from our analysts and other services. — Learn more

Read all of Spend Matters’ coronavirus coverage here.

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