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.
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.
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.
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.
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