Oracle's NetSuite adds banking features to its software; HSBC is first partner

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Oracle Corp's (ORCL.N) NetSuite on Tuesday said it will put automated banking features into its accounting software for businesses, with HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L) as its first partner to automatically send and receive money and reconcile accounts.

Oracle NetSuite sells cloud-based software to mid-sized businesses to track their financials. But many core functions, like wiring money to pay a bill or reconciling billing records with bank statements to see how much cash is available for use at any given time, still requires humans to push buttons and key in data.

Oracle NetSuite on Tuesday said it has used artificial intelligence and partnerships with banks to automate those processes. When a bill or an employee expense report comes in, the software can read it, file it appropriately and have money wired.

Evan Goldberg, executive vice president of Oracle NetSuite, said the goal of the new system is to help businesses get a more accurate daily picture of their cash position and free up staff in finance departments to work on more important things like planning and analysis.

"Labor is at a premium," Goldberg told Reuters in an interview. "You want your people not working on manual data entry, but working on stuff that's actually going to add strategic value to the business."

The Oracle NetSuite system requires integration with banks, which have also been working to use technology to make business transactions more efficient. Oracle NetSuite said it aims to integrate with most major banks and that its first partner is HSBC.

In a statement, Barry O’Byrne, chief executive officer for global commercial banking at HSBC, said partnerships like the one with Oracle NetSuite are "central to our strategy of supporting our clients’ growth across all regions, from Asia to the Americas. We envisage this to be the first alliance of many.”

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler

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