BofA Merrill Extends Global Card Offering, Launches SEPA Direct Debits

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) has extended its card solutions to include 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 (SDDs).

The bank said that in 2011 it added new card solutions in 18 countries, and the latest addition of seven more countries means that it is on track to offer global card solutions in more than 70 countries and 29 currencies by the end of 2012. Some of BofA Merrill’s solutions, including those offered in Argentina, are offered through local issuing banks.

Under SEPA, the eurozone-wide payment programme initiative, all existing, country-specific local payment instruments will be replaced by 2014. Through investment in SDD technology, BofA Merrill will enable commercial card clients to benefit from the operational simplification and cost savings created by the harmonisation of multiple instruments and reduced number of paper mandates that need to be managed for cardholders.

“As more companies seek growth internationally, they are realising the inherent advantages – such as transparency and risk controls – that card programmes 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 programmes to ensure our products directly match the needs of our clients.

“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.”

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