Bank of America (Charlotte) has reached the 50,000th member mark for its PayMode e-invoicing and payments network. PayMode is designed to bring together buyers and suppliers in the supply chain to help both sides interact in a more efficient, electronic manner.
According to the bank, its clients can pay about 30 percent of their targeted vendors on day one and up to 75 percent within the first 12 weeks, enabling immediate processing and cost efficiencies.
Kevin Phalen, SVP, product management executive, Integrated Debt and Treasury Solutions, notes that BofA reaches out to the vendor community to invite them to enroll in PayMode. Such outreach is becoming more common among financial institutions in their financial supply chain management businesses as they attempt to bring more efficiencies to clients. "Bank of America associates contact targeted vendors for enrollment into the network on behalf of the client," Phalen explains. "And, once the supplier enrolls, he agrees to be paid by anyone in the network, so there is no need to re-enroll for each payer." Phalen says this b-to-b e-payments and invoicing network is designed to help move companies from a paper-based environment to an electronic one. He says the benefits are there not only for BofA's commercial clients, but for the suppliers as well. "[PayMode] offers vendors electronic deposit of funds and provides flexible alternatives for delivery of remittance information to meet their current banking and system capabilities thereby removing the barriers to their conversion," he says. Remittances can be delivered in any format or can be viewed, printed or downloaded from the PayMode secure Website. Additionally, suppliers do not need to share bank account information with their customers as PayMode maintains and authenticates all the bank data for its network members.
BofA currently has 400 commercial and government clients enrolled in the PayMode service. Although Phalen says it is open to any size client, it works best for entities that make a minimum of 12,000 Accounts Payable payments per year. The PayMode network is a component of Bank of America's Electronic Payment Services suite, Comprehensive Payables, and has processed more than $225 billion in transactions since its inception in April 2007.
According to Phalen, the service has seen a recent spike in interest from clients and vendors, leading to the signing of the 50,000th vendor member—quite a milestone for the bank, he says. "The rapid growth of this network in 2008 demonstrates the need buyers and sellers have to transact their business more efficiently," he comments. "The PayMode solution, although sold to the payer, has been successful due to the effectiveness of a solution that works for the suppliers as well. When both sides of the transactions reap benefits, you have a win all around. This network, as demonstrated by this milestone, addresses that fundamental supply chain need—make it easy and reduce costs for both parties."