Electronic Payments Remain Top Priority for Global Companies in Digital, Mobile Age

Views From Over 300 Attendees Collated at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Payments and Commercial Card Conference

NEW YORK--()--While companies around the world are taking note of the growing emergence of mobile and digital payment applications, many treasury departments still grapple with the continued existence and enormous cost of paper payments. Clients at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Conference on Payments and Commercial Card continued to identify that fully converting their payments to electronic was their No. 1 priority in improving their working capital in 2015. The second-highest priority was expanding their card program or adopting mobile/digital business-to-consumer payments. These and other findings were revealed during the two-day event recently held in Phoenix.

“We are facing dramatic shifts in the global payments environment,” said Kevin Phalen, head of Global Card and Comprehensive Payables at BofA Merrill. “As an advisor and service provider to more than 73 percent of treasury departments of the Global Fortune 500, we take our role as facilitator seriously. We hope the dialogue generated among our clients and other industry participants will go some way to advancing preparedness and efficiencies in global commerce,” added Phalen.

This year’s conference, themed “Pay Everywhere: Extending Your Reach,” drew 300 representatives from 175 companies and government agencies based in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. The program featured BofA Merrill experts and other senior industry leaders who spoke on a range of topics, such as how companies can globalize their card programs; new and anticipated innovations in mobile technology; and analyses of regulatory changes impacting payments and cards.

Industry speakers included:

  • Wayne Best, global economist, Visa, who gave the keynote speech
  • James Carroll, SVP – Innovation, MasterCard
  • Karen Webster, CEO, Market Platform Dynamics and founder of PYMNTS.COM

During the event, a number of questions were posed to audience members, generating dialogue among attendees about their respective opportunities and challenges. Notably, 50 percent of attendees said they had a formal payments strategy supported by senior management. And while many clients said that a mobile strategy was not their top priority in 2015, 60 percent did acknowledge that adopting a mobile payments application was something they were likely to introduce in the future. Furthermore, mobile communications are increasingly important to clients, with more than 50 percent of attendees saying mobile alert messaging was “extremely valuable” for their cardholders.

“We were extremely pleased with the outcome of this year’s Payments and Card Conference,” said Ather Williams, head of Global Transaction Services at BofA Merrill. “We’d like to thank our clients and speakers for their active participation and the helpful input they provided. The intelligence we came away with will be invaluable as we determine where to further invest in our platform, and which new capabilities and services will be most beneficial to supporting our clients’ goals.”

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Commercial Card
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a leading provider of card solutions to large and middle-market companies globally, and to federal, state and local government entities in the United States. BofA Merrill’s Commercial Card group works with these organizations to design integrated ePayments solutions that help unlock working capital while increasing efficiency, visibility and control. As part of the Global Transaction Services business, BofA Merrill’s Commercial Card and Comprehensive Payables group develops strategies and solutions that are closely aligned to the treasury goals of corporate, commercial and government entities. BofA Merrill cardholders can be served in numerous languages and have access to a worldwide network of more than 40 million credit card merchants and ATMs.

For more information about BofA Merrill’s card solutions, please visit http://www.bofaml.com/en-us/content/card-solutions.html.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 48 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,800 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with 31 million active users and approximately 18 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Contacts

Reporters May Contact:
Louise Hennessy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 1.415.913.3641
louise.hennessy@bankofamerica.com

Contacts

Reporters May Contact:
Louise Hennessy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 1.415.913.3641
louise.hennessy@bankofamerica.com