Bank of America Merrill Lynch Announces New Virtual Payables Feature

EXCLUSIVE – Bank of America Merrill Lynch has added a new feature to its Virtual Payables product, an offering which allows its commercial clients to automate post-invoice payments.

The new feature (or Enhanced Virtual Payables Solution) was announced yesterday, although the feature had been available to clients since Q4’17, according to Louise Hennessy, senior vice president of Global Transaction Services Communications at the bank. 

In an email to Bank Innovation, Hennessy explained:

The enhanced Virtual Payables solution presents single use account capability, meaning every payment made between a buyer and supplier generates a unique 16-digit account number. This process can be used for one-time payments OR for ongoing (or recurring) payables between our buying client and a supplier. The single use account capability helps ease reconciliation issues for suppliers who receive large numbers of payments.

The feature uses API technology to let its commercial purchasing clients connect to the bank’s virtual card system.  Using the API, the purchasing client can initiate payments via batch file delivery from its accounts payable or enterprise resource planning system or even via the user interface.

The new feature, which is available to clients in only in North America, is part of the bank’s strategy to maintain its status as one of the major players in the virtual payables and purchasing card sectors in North America, Hennessy explained in the email to Bank Innovation.

In fact, according to Nilson report, BofA Merrill Lynch was the number one issuer of Virtual Payables and Purchasing Card in North America in 2017.

“We were the first to market with virtual card back in 2005, and continue to enhance the product capability to address the needs of our clients and the market,” Hennessy said. “The enhanced capabilities benefit both our existing BofAML commercial card clients as well as other organizations that operate in North America who are looking for a means to automate post-invoice payments.”

To learn more about payments, join us on March 5-6, 2018 at the Parc 55 in San Francisco for Bank Innovation 2018. Click here to request an invitation.

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