Technology – News in brief.

American Express has launched a new B2B internet payment service intended to enable companies to settle bills and payments direct from one bank account to another.

The system will work across 160 countries, 24 hours a day and will allow customers to track their payments all the way to the final destination.

The move sees American Express stepping up activity in what has become a competitive market to serve customers in the SME sector.

John Howells, director of foreign exchange at American Express, said SMEs ‘need to eliminate the time and effort connected with any administrative task that does not directly add value to their customers.’

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Software developers have cause for optimism despite the economic slowdown, according to BASDA’s latest quarterly survey of the industry.

Results show that 77% of companies surveyed predicting growth in the second quarter of this year as a result of increased customer interest.

‘The optimism shown by the developers appears to be borne out by Sage’s results which were released last week,’ said Dennis Keeling, chief executive of BASDA.

The optimism comes despite the fact that 67% of companies reported increased sales for the first quarter, compared to 68% for the last quarter of 2000.

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BKL Tenon’s employer services manager Andy Hedworth will be appearing on the company’s website for the remainder of May to answer all your questions on tax and national insurance.

BKL, the technology arm of accountancy consolidator Tenon, provides the service for employers needing advice.

Marketing manager Joy Cradick said ‘hot topics’ expected on the site were farmworkers’ accommodation, business travel and employee share option schemes.

To contact Hedworth, visit:

A complete new customer relationship management software product has been launched by ACCPAC International.

Designed specifically for e-businesses, CRM can be used over the internet or wireless devices.

‘As internet and wireless communications continue to shape the ways in which mid-market enterprises compete, customers are increasingly looking for cost efficient ways to connect all their vital business functions,’ said ACCPAC President and CEO David Hood.

The company website can be found at

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