Bank of America Merrill Lynch Wins Celent Model Bank Award

Digital Disbursements Named Best in Digital Payments and Cards

Friday, April 15, 2016 2:00 pm EDT

Today in New York, Bank of America Merrill Lynch was recognized by Celent as a Model Bank in the Digital Payments and Cards category for its Digital Disbursements payments solution. Celent is a global research and advisory firm for the financial services industry.

The Celent Model Bank Awards recognize the best practices of technology usage in different areas critical to success in banking. Nominees undergo a rigorous evaluation process by the firm’s analysts and are judged on three core criteria: initiatives must be live and delivering demonstrable business benefits; the degree of innovation relative to the industry; and the quality of the technology or implementation excellence.

“We are honored to receive this Model Bank award from Celent, and delighted that Digital Disbursements continues to receive global industry recognition,” said Liz Guthrie, head of Disbursements in Global Transaction Services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Digital Disbursements was created in response to the rapidly evolving world of payments and the increasing trend of consumers and corporations opting for faster and easier ways to send and receive money electronically. We are pleased to offer a solution that makes a meaningful difference to many companies, as well as to their own customers.”

“Like all of our Model Bank winners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch serves as an inspiration to others looking for strong examples of best practice implementation that will have a truly meaningful impact on business results and the industry overall,” says Zilvinas Bareisis, senior analyst at Celent. “The entry for Digital Disbursements clearly demonstrated this.”

Launched in September 2014, Digital Disbursements was the first digital business-to-consumer payment solution of its kind, enabling companies to make payments to their customers by using an email address or phone number as the identifier. For the beneficiaries, it means receiving payments much faster. Instead of waiting for a check to arrive in the mail, almost 80 percent of customers who have signed up for Digital Disbursements received their payments within a day, and 55 percent in less than five hours.

The product was created to serve middle-market, large corporate and public-sector clients, addressing challenges facing payers, including the high cost to issue checks or the need to store sensitive bank account information.

“We are very gratified by this award that recognizes an innovation that is helping our clients adapt to the transforming world of payments,” added Ather Williams, head of Global Transaction Services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “We look forward to building on the momentum of Digital Disbursements to create new possibilities for our clients to process payments globally to their vendors, customers and employees.”

Digital Disbursements enables BofA Merrill’s commercial clients to:

  • Deliver funds to customers faster and with less complexity than issuing a physical check.

  • Reduce end-to-end disbursement costs by up to 75 percent when compared to a physical check. Merchants could potentially save more than US$1 billion annually by eliminating disbursement checks.

  • Reduce escheatment management, an administrative burden that is costly and time-consuming.

  • Eliminate the need to obtain and store sensitive bank account information.

  • Reduce check forging, fraudulent deposits and identity theft.

  • Reduce paper consumption and printing costs.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 33 million active users and approximately 20 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch" is the marketing name for the global banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives and other commercial banking activities are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Securities, strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("Investment Banking Affiliates"), including, in the United States, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., both of which are registered broker-dealers and Members of SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, by locally registered entities. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp. are registered as futures commission merchants with the CFTC and are members of the NFA. Investment products offered by Investment Banking Affiliates: Are Not FDIC Insured * May Lose Value * Are Not Bank Guaranteed.

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Reporters May Contact:
Louise Hennessy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 1.415.913.3641