October 18, 2013

The banking landscape is transforming on almost a daily basis, as new technology allows financial institutions to simplify processes, reduce inefficiencies and become more agile. At Bank of America, technology is playing an integral role in helping the organization streamline and reduce redundant processes after years of mergers and acquisitions.

While the overall organization has been undergoing a multi-year transformation process to simplify and modernize its infrastructure, BofA's wholesale banking division is also embarked on a mission to leverage new technologies and integrate its global platforms and processes. However, as Bank of America Merrill Lynch CIO for Global Wholesale Banking Technology & Operations, Bill Pappas terms it, "it's not a revolution, but managing an evolution."

The "Wholesale Model Bank" project, as it is known, involves creating a technology infrastructure that will reduce overall cost, operational risk and improve the client experience, explains Pappas. He says the multi-year project, currently ongoing, began three years ago as the wholesale banking division embarked on a plan to modernize it's core infrastructure, which includes systems reaching out into nearly 30 countries. Pappas says the goal is to provide the bank's multi-national and regional customers with access to a series of core processing services delivered with consistent business and operational processes under regional delivery protocols.

"The benefit is to get consistent global platforms and processes tailored to regional needs," he adds.

One such aspect of the project among the "strategic platform upgrades", Pappas points out, is it will be consistent with single euro payments area (SEPA) standards for credit transfers and direct debit payments. The project will also integrate Bank of America's trade and credit capabilities in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"We want the ability to accommodate growing volume transactions and support complex a regulatory environment," Pappas adds. "This will make our costs more elastic, our infrastructure more flexible."