The Federal Reserve wants to move US businesses away from the still widespread practice of issuing paper checks. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has formed a Business Payments Coalition to partner with companies in advancing the use of electronic remittance.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is among a dozen banks that have partnered with SWIFT to help create an enhanced standard for international payments. "Corporates want to track payments in real time and get confirmation of credit to the beneficiary's account," says Marc Delbaere, global head of corporates at SWIFT. "This new multi-bank capability will enable that experience in a consistent fashion, across multiple banks and multiple corporates. Having this information instantly in the corporate treasury space is what corporate customers are asking for."
The practice of reverse factoring, or financing unpaid invoices, has caught the attention of Fitch Ratings, which notes that "the magnitude of this unreported debt-like financing could be considerable in individual cases and may have negative credit implications."
A reduction in the corporate tax rate in the US has yet to deliver on the expected economic gains as firms continue to hoard cash. President Donald Trump made cutting the corporate tax rate one of his key election promises.
Chatbots, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies are transforming corporate finance operations, according to a report from Deloitte. The use of automation technology across sectors is changing the face of finance.
Artificial intelligence software allows companies to automate some simple tasks involved in accounting, payments and customer service, but experts say the technology could be used for more complex applications with robotics. General Motors, BMW, General Electric, Unilever, Cisco, Google and government agencies have implemented AI software, and Forrester Research predicts robotic AI technology will do the work of almost 4.3 million human employees by 2021.
Smart contracts use blockchain technology to execute agreements without third parties, such as banks, that verify payments. Early adopters will have to overcome challenges but also might reduce fraud risk and expedite payment processes.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch highlights the value of diversity and its contribution to the bottom line in this article. "Whether through employee networks or other ways,
leaders and mentors should look at the quality of peoples' work rather than their backgrounds," said Rita Sola Cook of the BofAML Global Commercial Banking unit. "It's about recruiting our next generation of employees, our next generation of leadership,"
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Global Transaction Services (GTS) business provides comprehensive global treasury solutions across the breadth of the working capital cycle, including liquidity management, payments and receipts, commercial card, foreign exchange and trade and supply chain finance. With a history spanning more than 230 years, GTS services thousands of clients - small businesses, mid-size companies, large corporations, financial institutions and public sector entities - in more than 200 countries and 140 currencies.