Cash & Liquidity ManagementPaymentsElectronic/MobileBAML launches mobile wallet service for commercial customers

BAML launches mobile wallet service for commercial customers

Cardholders who use BAML corporate, commercial and purchasing cards in the US can now use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay to make business purchases, in a first for the industry.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) has introduced mobile wallet functionality to its payment services platform for businesses. The bank says mobile wallets will enable faster, more secure and more efficient business purchases.

The move means that the millions of cardholders who use BAML corporate, commercial and purchasing cards in the US can now use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay to make business purchases.

Bank of America has offered mobile payment services to customers, clients and merchants since 2014, but the addition of mobile wallets for commercial cardholders is new to the industry.

According to Hubert J.P. Jolly, head of financing and channels in global transaction services at BAML, “Cardholders will no longer have to search for their physical wallet for every business purchase. The result should be faster transactions and greater peace of mind for the cardholder.”

The result should be faster transactions and greater peace of mind for the cardholder

Mobile wallets are designed to protect client information by substituting an account number with a token – an automatically generated number that is loaded onto the mobile device (also known as a virtual card number). The client’s actual account number is not stored on the device, and the merchant neither sees nor stores the number. For additional security, the mobile wallet typically requires identity confirmation, such as a thumbprint or pass code, to complete transactions.

BAML has also recently introduced a mobile app for commercial prepaid cardholders, designed for users who receive a reloadable prepaid card from an employer, government agency or entity with whom they do business.

In January the bank launched BofA Merrill Virtual Payables, an enhanced virtual card capability that uses application programming interface (API) to enable commercial purchasing clients to connect directly to the bank’s virtual card system.

Global trend

Mobile wallet adoption is on the rise globally and consumers in the US and Europe are catching up with those in fast-growing economies in Asia and Latin America where mobile wallets have already become the dominant payment platform.

The Global Consumer Survey: Consumer Trust and Security Perceptions published by ACI Worldwide found that 17% of US consumers now regularly use their smartphone to pay, up from 6% in 2014 when the survey was last conducted. In Europe, Spanish consumers are the most active users of mobile wallets, with 25% using them regularly, followed by Italy (24%), Sweden (23%) and the UK (14%).

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