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Bank of America is embarking on a multi-year initiative to digitise trade finance through its new platform, CashPro Supply Chain Solutions. 

Aimed at optimising working capital and streamlining processes, the platform is part of CashPro, a banking system already utilised by over 40,000 businesses for treasury and trade operations. 

The first module, Open Account Automation, significantly reduces invoice approval times, marking a shift from days or weeks to mere minutes. 

This development addresses the industry’s reliance on manual, paper-based systems, offering a more efficient and transparent experience for all supply chain participants. 

Geoff Brady, head of Global Trade and Supply Chain Finance in Global Transaction Services (GTS) at Bank of America, said, “Trade finance is still a paper-heavy industry despite advances in technology, due in large part to the dependency on traditional manual processes”.

“Eliminating that dependency was central to the design of CashPro Supply Chain Solutions, through which we’re introducing digitisation on behalf of network participants.” 

Open Account Automation absorbs and collates data that exists within the supply chain ecosystem. 

Its goal is to improve the overall participant experience by delivering greater visibility, speed, and automation and allowing quicker decision-making.

Companies using Open Account Automation will be able to: 

  • Digitally on-board suppliers who then gain access to real-time data that provides near-instant visibility into whether their invoices have been approved for payment, or if there were discrepancies that need to be resolved.  
  • Extract data from document copies and include that data in the automated approval process. 
  • Match purchase orders with invoices and other logistics information. 
  • Let buyers control the approval of invoices based on information presented by their suppliers, their logistics providers and their own warehouse receipting process. Buyers can set automated rules for approval, including allowing them to automate discrepancy resolution.  
  • Automatically disburse payment to a supplier once an invoice is approved and matures.
  • Coming soon, suppliers will be able to select invoices for early payment.

Jay Davenport, global co-head of Corporate  Sales in GTS at Bank of America, said, “With global commerce operating 24/7, companies need the ability to view and act on information in as close to real-time as possible.”

“Open Account Automation offers that transparency and the ability to self-serve. Buyers will now have a more complete view of when and where their goods are in the supply chain and sellers will have visibility into when and what they’ll be paid.”