Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch subsidiary on Monday announced enhanced capabilities for its Virtual Payables service, including the ability by corporate card-using businesses to create single-use account numbers in real time.
In addition to the single-use card numbers, businesses with a BofA Merrill purchasing card can connect directly to the bank’s virtual card system via an application programming interface. While Virtual Payables is a global service, BofA Merrill says the new capabilities currently are available only to North American clients.
One-time-use card-account numbers are more secure than transmitting static card-account data in online and mobile purchases, the latter of which could be used by fraudsters for multiple purchases. In addition, they help businesses improve payment reconciliations, the bank said.
“We are proud to be the first issuer in North America to generate single-use virtual card accounts directly from our processor, resulting in the ultimate combination of flexibility and control,” Hubert J.P. Jolly, global head of financing and channels for Global Transaction Services at BofA Merrill, said in a news release. “The enhanced Virtual Payables streamlines the payment process for both buyers and their suppliers.”
“Each transaction has a unique card account number tied to it, improving reconciliation for both parties,” BofA Merrill said in the release. Suppliers do not need to store a card number on file as all card-account information and payment details are provided via email and secure URLs. Business clients also can integrate the virtual card service into travel bookings, the bank said.