Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a leading provider of transaction services, today announced that its card solutions are now available in Argentina, the Czech Republic, Finland and Poland, as well as the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
In addition, the company announced plans to make available Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Direct Debits.
The addition of the seven countries reaffirms the company's position as a leading provider of card solutions to large and middle-market companies and government entities around the world. By the end of 2012, BofA Merrill's global card offering will be available in more than 70 countries*.
Under SEPA, the eurozonewide payment program initiative, all existing, country-specific local payment instruments will be replaced by 2014. Through investment in SEPA Direct Debits technology, BofA Merrill will enable commercial card clients to benefit from the operational simplification and cost savings created by the harmonization of multiple instruments and reduced number of paper mandates that need to be managed for cardholders.
"As more companies seek growth internationally, they are realizing the inherent advantages - such as transparency and risk controls - that card programs bring to managing cross-border payments," said Kevin Phalen, head of Global Card and Comprehensive Payables at BofA Merrill. "Our new country capabilities underscore the company's commitment to provide global card solutions for its clients. We are continually investing in our programs to ensure our products directly match the needs of our clients."
"SEPA Direct Debits is another example of our continued investment in our Commercial Card capabilities," said Duncan Kennett, director, EMEA Commercial Card at BofA Merrill. "We took the step of investing in this technology as early as possible so that we could help our clients get a head start in the SEPA conversion process. The early adoption will help them avoid future disruptions and more quickly realize the benefits of SEPA."
BofA Merrill's Commercial Card and Comprehensive Payables group, which is part of the Global Transaction Services business, develops strategies and solutions that are closely aligned to the treasury goals of corporate, commercial and government entities.
Added Phalen: "Investment in our own capabilities has facilitated seamless interaction between our Card specialists and our treasury and cash management advisors. We believe this combined proposition which integrates the expertise of both business areas makes us well positioned to advise our clients and offer tailored products that address the specific working capital needs facing companies and government agencies.
* Some of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's solutions, including those offered in Argentina, are offered through local issuing banks.