Bank of America strengthens digital business-to-business offerings

By August 19, 2016Bitcoin Business
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Bank of America
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Over 3 million Bank of America small business customers can now directly enroll in Viewpost's digital invoicing network to securely exchange electronic invoices and payments at no or low cost, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

Bank of America and Viewpost initially partnered in late 2015, but only added a direct enrollment option, which will help onboard customers faster, this week. Bank of America is Viewpost’s third bank partner, following Fifth Third Bank and US Bank, but the first to offer direct enrollment.

The addition of simple, digital B2B payment options solves small business pain points.Most small businesses don’t use advanced accounting software or send out electronic invoices, Viewpost CEO Max Eliscu told BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service.

That’s likely because full-service solutions are often too expensive for smaller platforms to use, which pushes them to other options that tend to be time-consuming and limit payment visibility and transparency. Viewpost’s platform helps resolve many of those issues, which in turn makes it easier for small businesses to focus on other things.

Investing in these types of services ultimately helps Bank of America.

  • Adding these services meets customer needs. Small businesses are interested in electronic options to better understand invoicing, payments, and other critical functions, according to Eliscu. Meeting these needs pleases customers, which in turn could make them more loyal and reduce churn.
  • Banks can turn that satisfaction into revenue. Platforms like Viewpost also gives banks better access to information about their customers' needs in real time, Eliscu told BI Intelligence. Banks can then leverage that knowledge to offer specific products, like loans or consultative advice, in a targeted way so that merchants are more likely to accept. That could grow sales of lucrative services like loans, which ultimately allows banks to capitalize on client needs and boost their own business.

Business-to-business transacations are just one piece of the broader payments ecosystem, which includes card networks, issuers, vendors, acquirers, processors, and more.

Evan Bakker and John Heggestuen, analysts at BI Intelligence, have compiled a detailed report on the payments ecosystem that drills into the industry to explain how a broad range of transactions are processed, including prepaid and store cards, as well as revealing which types of companies are in the best and worst position to capitalize on the latest industry trends.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • 2016 will be a watershed year for the payments industry. Payments companies are improving security, expanding their mobile offerings, and building commerce capabilities that will give consumers a more compelling reason to make purchases using digital devices.
  • Payments is an extremely complex industry. To understand the next big digital opportunity lies, it's critical to understand how the traditional credit- and debit-processing chain works and what roles acquirers, processors, issuing banks, card networks, independent sales organizations, gateways, and software and hardware providers play.
  • Alternative technologies could disrupt the processing ecosystem. Devices ranging from refrigerators to smartwatches now feature payment capabilities, which will spur changes in consumer payment behaviors. Likewise, blockchain technology, the protocol that underlies Bitcoin, could one day change how consumer card payments are verified.

In full, the report:

  • Uncovers the key themes and trends affecting the payments industry in 2016 and beyond.
  • Gives a detailed description of the stakeholders involved in a payment transaction, along with hardware and software providers.
  • Offers diagrams and infographics explaining how card transactions are processed and which players are involved in each step.
  • Provides charts on our latest forecasts, key company growth, survey results, and more.
  • Analyzes the alternative technologies, including blockchain, which could further disrupt the ecosystem.

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