Trade & Supply Chain

Overview

As a trusted trade advisor to more than 5,000 large multinational importers and exporters, 10,000 middle-market companies as well as financial institutions involved in international trade, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a leading provider of global trade services. We offer a range of solutions designed to create competitive advantages—from technology integration, open account processing, automated document preparation and presentment services to payables financing and physical supply chain visibility.

Products & Services:

Importer-Buyer

Importer Guide (PDF)

Overview
Companies importing goods need to mitigate cross-border trading risks and increase cash flow and operating efficiencies. Bank of America Merrill Lynch can help you compete more effectively globally with trade finance solutions tailored to your specific needs as an importer.

Purchase Order–to–Pay
Replace paper-based functions with electronic processes. Choose from multiple settlement options, such as open account payments, traditional letters of credit and private label letters of credit.  Increase transparency and visibility throughout your supply chain by linking all of your supply chain service providers into an end-to-end payment and settlement process.

Supply Chain Finance
As a buyer, providing your suppliers with access to credit can help you reduce the cost of goods sold, strengthen supplier relationships and more efficiently manage working capital. We offer a comprehensive suite of supply chain financing programs to benefit you and your suppliers.

Banker's Acceptances
Achieve cost-effective financing of international trade for shipments under letters of credit, collection or open account. Low-cost and widely used banker's acceptances from Bank of America Merrill Lynch help you facilitate cash flow and trade relationships.

Supplier Finance
Manage letter of credit and open account payment terms aggressively without penalizing your suppliers; reduce payment cycles; enhance your access to liquidity; and eliminate routine inquiries.

Bank Payment Obligation (BPO)
The BPO is an irrevocable but conditional payment assurance instrument, contingent on matching of electronic data sets performed on SWIFT's Trade Services Utility (TSU). It can assist with the transition to open account trade with established counterparties by helping improve process efficiencies without substantial technology and infrastructure investment. Unlike a letter of credit, a BPO is flexible and can be added to an open account transaction at any point in the trade cycle.

A BPO offers the best of both letters of credit and open account, providing faster completion of trade transactions using electronic data sets and data matching, more efficient use of bank credit lines, payment risk mitigation and financing options to sellers in return for better pricing and strengthened relationships with sellers.

Exporter-Supplier

Exporter Guide (PDF)

Overview
Companies selling goods internationally need financial support and advanced systems to get their products to market, and ensure prompt payment and the delivery of accurate information. Bank of America Merrill Lynch can make it simple for you to finance exports, manage your export receivables and monitor your export business worldwide.

Document Presentation & Payment
Expedite the preparation and presentation of your export documentation and accelerate collection of your receivables, settled on traditional letter of credit, private label letter of credit and open account terms. In addition, improve visibility to the entire order to cash process and mitigate foreign buyer risk.

Letter of Credit Confirmations
When Bank of America Merrill Lynch confirms a letter of credit issued by another bank, we add our credit standing to that of the issuing bank, guaranteeing payment to the seller if terms and conditions of the letter of credit have been fulfilled.

Receivables Finance
Turn receivables into cash with receivables finance from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Our solutions can enable you to sell on both letter of credit and open account payment terms, reduce collection cycles, increase your access to liquidity and better manage your cash flow.

Structured Trade Finance
We work with export credit agencies and secondary market participants to tailor innovative solutions to meet your short- and medium-term export financing needs. Our creative structuring capabilities can help you offer attractive financing to overseas customers and significantly reduce non-payment risks. If you are a U.S.-based exporter, you may qualify for pre-export financing with a 90% guarantee by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-ImBank).

Bank Payment Obligation (BPO)
The BPO is an irrevocable but conditional payment assurance instrument, contingent on matching of electronic data sets performed on SWIFT's Trade Services Utility (TSU). The BPO can assist with the transition to open account trade with established counter parties by helping to improve process efficiencies without substantial technology and infrastructure investment and, at the same time, retaining risk mitigation and financing options usually available under a letter of credit.

A BPO offers the best of both letters of credit and open account transactions, providing faster completion of trade transactions using electronic data sets and data matching, payment risk mitigation, and better cash management visibility. BPO also offers working capital benefits such as lower days sales outstanding (DSO) through various financing options which in turn can help sellers in offering competitive terms and increasing sales with buyers.

Financial Institutions

Overview
Financial institutions around the world may require an international bank to provide the global reach and trade services they cannot address alone. You maintain your client relationships through our private label services, while your clients benefit from the extensive experience, global network and advanced trade technology of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, working behind the scenes to expedite their cross-border transactions.

Private Label LC Issuance
We provide back-office processing for your import and export letters of credit, documentary collections, and reimbursements, leaving you free to concentrate on managing credit and customer relationships. You remain the primary service provider throughout the transaction process.

Letter of Credit Soft Restriction Program
Letters of credit issued by your bank can include a local payment clause instructing the negotiating bank to present documents for payment to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch branch.

Bank-to-Bank Reimbursements
We serve as your reimbursing bank under your letters of credit. By using your Bank of America Merrill Lynch USD account to consolidate your letter of credit payments, you'll enjoy consolidated pre-debit advices, real-time balance and transaction reporting and overnight investment services for excess balances.

Export Bills Collections
Quickly deposit the funds due from export receivables into your account while keeping informed of paid and open items. We can help you combine courier delivery of open receivables letters, payment tracing, tracking, reporting and received funds concentration into a single, integrated solution.

Bank Payment Obligation (BPO)
The BPO is an irrevocable but conditional payment assurance instrument, contingent on matching of electronic data sets performed on SWIFT's Trade Services Utility (TSU). It offers the best of both letters of credit and open account transactions, providing faster completion of trade transactions for corporates using electronic data sets and data matching, payment risk mitigation, better cash management visibility, and working capital benefits for both buyers and sellers. For banks, the BPO allows them to intermediate themselves in the open account space in various capacities such as obligor bank, recipient bank or submitting bank, and generate additional revenue streams by providing risk mitigation and pre-and/or-post shipment financing to underlying parties in the transaction.

Client Access

Overview
Control your import payments faster and more efficiently with our full service online transaction and information solution. Streamline transaction processing and communications, apply for letters of credit and amendments, and initiate open account transactions quickly. In addition, our real-time activity reporting capabilities help enable you to make timely, well-informed decisions.

Trade Pro®
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is pleased to introduce Trade Pro®, the latest in innovative technology to manage your trade and supply chain transactions. Using a single, online solution to consolidate and manage import and export trade activity and access comprehensive reporting, Trade Pro provides you with a full-scope view, enabling you to make best-informed financial choices. Trade Pro can optimize your working capital and streamline your business processes. For more information, please visit www.baml.com/TradePro.

Corporate Access through SWIFT
Bank of America Merrill Lynch actively works to provide global services so you can attain new levels of efficiency within your organization. We are committed to delivering innovative global services, including adoption of SWIFT for Corporates and the three SWIFT membership offerings: SCORE, MA-CUG and TRCO. 

We have worked closely with our corporate clients to create SWIFT Corporate Access. By using SWIFT, you can automate and standardize financial transactions with your banking service providers, allowing for improved visibility and control of cash flows, and improved risk management.

Through SWIFT, your business gains access to many of our core offerings by using individual messaging and files to support payments, receipts, treasury activities and more. Benefits of SWIFT Corporate Access include:

  • Single channel: Consolidated access to Bank of America Merrill Lynch global accounts through a single file and single channel.

  • Minimal complexity: Streamlined business continuity planning as bank connection points become less intricate.

  • Reduced expense: Lowered operating and maintenance costs as multiple bank connection points condense into a single channel.

  • Simplified infrastructure: Scalable technology support for business growth.

  • Interoperability: We are an active member of the SWIFT CAG (Corporate Advisory Group).

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a long standing supporter of SWIFT and was one of the original banks to pilot the Standardized Corporate Environment (SCORE), where corporate can interact with financial institutions. Our clients communicate with us using FIN and FileAct services. We also offer a Global SWIFT Service Bureau option.

For more information contact your Bank of America Merrill Lynch representative.

CashPro® Connect
Achieve greater flexibility and integration with file access solutions through CashPro® Connect. This single-file, multicurrency solution facilitates global origination of all payment types with corresponding electronic acknowledgements and reporting. CashPro Connect helps integrate and simplify your end-to-end experience with otherwise complex applications and channels.

Additional Resources

AFP Exchange

Improving Working Capital with Trade Receivables Finance

gtnews

Putting Technology to Work in Trade Finance

TMI

Bank Payment Obligation: 21st Century Trade Settlement

FStech Award, 2014

2014 Best Use of IT in Wholsale & Investment Banking - Trade Pro

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Recognition