Afternoon Coffee: U.S. to limit TikTok, WeChat; payments firm Fleetcor acquires AFEX; Procurify hires Hootsuite exec; PRO recap: Billtrust, Infor Nexus; and a global SpendMatters.com

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The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday morning announced it intends to ban U.S. business transactions with social apps WeChat and TikTok on Sunday, according to CNBC.

Both companies are owned by Chinese-based organizations. A full ban of WeChat will go into effect Sunday along with a ban of downloads, updates and maintenance to TikTok. The announcement from the Commerce Department comes ahead of an expected statement Friday by President Donald Trump on whether his administration will approve a deal for Oracle to become a “trusted technology partner” of TikTok in the U.S., the article reported.

“At the president’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the announcement.

Fleetcor announces acquisition of payment provider AFEX

Fleetcor Technologies Inc. — a global business payments provider — announced this week that it signed an agreement to acquire Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX), a cross-border payment provider.

Fleetcor looks to build upon its corporate payments line of business while strengthening its position in the B2B payments industry, it said in a press release. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, Fleetcor said. AFEX has more than 35,000 customers and over $22 billion in annual volume. It is one of the world’s largest non-bank cross-border payment solution providers, according to the press release.

“The combination of cross-border payments and risk management (i.e. hedging currency exposures, especially around payments) is a strong combination,” Spend Matters’ contributing author David Gustin said. “The solutions for virtual account structures and risk management presented to corporate treasury professionals has expanded and the market has become increasingly crowded.

"In addition, SWIFT continues to put pressure on the cross-border payment space with their announcement of a new strategy around frictionless payments. Fleetcor has an expanding portfolio of companies to suit the payment complexity world but needs to figure out how to integrate both Cambridge and AFEX companies. Do they run as independents, or do they figure out best-of-breed technology? There will be crossovers in accounts, licenses, etc. that also need to be figured out. Much work to do, but exciting times for the B2B payment industry.”

Read more of our payments coverage here.

Procurify names Bevan van der Berg as new VP of Finance

Spend management software specialist Procurify announced this week that it appointed a new VP of Finance, Bevan van der Berg, formerly the senior director of business performance and analysis at Hootsuite.

At the social media management provider Hootsuite, van der Berg grew revenue by five times, expanded into new markets and shaped a strategy for global growth, Procurify said in a press release. At Procurify, van der Berg will now be responsible for leading the finance team while focusing on streamlining financial operations. Procurify has managed over $7 billion of organizational spend around the world.

“As companies grow and expand, the focus should always be on the most optimal allocation of resources,” van der Berg said in the press release. “Understanding a company’s spend forces you to remove rogue spend and wasted funds. Strategic spend management gives organizations the opportunity to re-allocate these funds to areas where they can actually invest and grow the company so that everybody benefits. This is the toolset that Procurify gives its customers, and this is why I’m excited to join its leadership team.”

Spend Matters’ analysts look at Billtrust, Infor Nexus

This week, Spend Matters analysts assessed solutions from Billtrust, a payments offering, and Infor Nexus, a direct procurement specialist invoice/AP functionality as well as supply chain visibility and collaboration. Our PRO subscribers can read the full article, but all readers get a lengthy intro that frames the issues being discussed. This week:

Spend Matters Europe to merge with SpendMatters.com

In a post for our Spend Matters Europe readers, we unveiled our plan to merge its website operations with our main SpendMatters.com site. That begins Oct. 1, and in the post, readers can find out more details about RSS feeds on the Europe site, social media plans, and archived and future coverage of Europe-related technology and procurement issues.

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