Technology consumerisation will soon drive wholesale innovation
The consumerisation of technology is driving the development of new services in wholesale banking as much as it is in retail, as customers demand real-time access through mobile channels.
“We are learning from our consumer banking colleagues, particularly in the mobile area,” said Bill Pappas, chief information officer for global wholesale banking technology and operations at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).
Pappas said the change was exemplified by Digital Disbursements, a new payment service the bank has launched at Sibos that enables companies to make payments to their customers digitally. The payments are directly routed to the bank account of the individual payee’s choosing using either a mobile phone number or email address as the identifier. It uses the proven technology already in existence for peer to peer (P2P) payments, a capability currently offered by Bank of America’s consumer business through the company’s alliance with clearXchange.
“Digital Disbursements emerges from the rapidly evolving world of payments, in which both consumers and corporations are increasingly opting for faster, easier ways to send and receive money electronically,” said Ather Williams, head of global payments in the Global Transaction Services division of the bank. “Through this method, customers don’t have to wait for the cheque to come in the mail and there is no need for companies to maintain sensitive personal bank account information.”
Digital Disbursements is targeted at middle-market, large corporate and public sector clients. Individual consumers have adopted P2P payment practices in large numbers and feedback from focus groups concluded that people were eager to receive payments from companies or government entities in the same way, the bank said.
“Digital Disbursements is an example of true partnership and our commitment to collaborate across our businesses to deliver the best solutions for our clients based on their needs,” said Pappas. “By leveraging proven technology, we were able to develop an innovative solution for our corporate clients, which speeds the payment process from several days to only a few minutes.”