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Bank of America spreading APIness

This week, Bank of America has launched a variety of APIs designed to simplify and enhance the efficiency of treasury management for its corporate clients. First, the bank has launched an omni-channel offering that includes API and mobile connectivity for cross-currency foreign exchange payments. New capabilities include:

  • FX Trading API that enables live trading with our global foreign exchange desk.
  • Guaranteed Rates API that holds rates for extended periods of time, up to 180 days.
  • FX Payments API that enables a company to bundle payments into one foreign exchange transaction or associate multiple payments with a single trade.
  • Settle API booked FX Trades via SWIFT FIN standard messaging.
  • Mobile access to expanded cross-currency payment capabilities via the bank's CashPro app.

“We are pleased to introduce new functionality that gives clients greater ease and control to manage their rapidly growing cross-border payments volume,” said Doug Houser, head of Transactional FX in Global Transaction Services (GTS) at Bank of America. “With the ability to mix and match different channels for trading and settling, we’re giving companies the ultimate convenience in managing cross-currency payments.”

Many clients, including financial institutions, can now get direct access to more than 100 currencies and effectively trade anywhere and settle anywhere. For instance, a client could trade via API and settle via SWIFT, or trade online and settle via API.

Since launching, the bank says that its FX APIs have been popular with clients particularly in industries such as banking and non-banking financial institutions, retail, and technology. The FX APIs are suited to a company where the priorities are the foreign exchange rate, the speed, and the convenience of making a payment. They’re also suited for companies that have separate teams managing payments and FX trading.

“The pressure to have real-time information has never been greater,” said Paul Taylor, head of Global Financial Institution Sales in GTS at Bank of America. “Through our APIs and mobile connectivity, clients will now have rate and payment statuses at their fingertips, enabling them to share foreign exchange rates with their own customers almost instantly.”

Supporting real-time treasury management

Bank of America has also announced support for the increasing demand for real-time information and processing in corporate treasury with the launch of three new APIs. Connected through CashPro, the bank’s technology suite for companies, the APIs support FX settlement, the retrieval of cheque images, and pulling reports.

The bank’s APIs are free to clients using CashPro. The three new APIs developed in direct response to client feedback include:

  • FX settlement: Clients can directly manage cross-border payments, either initiating a single cross-currency FX payment or bundling payments into one foreign exchange settlement.
  • Cheque image retrieval: To assist with account reconciliation, clients can now directly retrieve multiple images of cheques that have been posted to their account.
  • CashPro reporting: Pulling and scheduling reports are among the most heavily used CashPro features. Through this API, treasury teams can access reports seamlessly and optimise the power of their data.

The power of an API lies in its ability to directly connect different systems and allow for the exchange of data between them in real or near-real time. “With CashPro APIs, we’re helping our clients bring banking information and daily operations even closer together,” said Stephanie Wolf, head of Global Financial Institutions, Governments and Business Banking Sales in Global Transaction Services (GTS) at Bank of America. “Our clients can transact and see real-time banking data directly from their own enterprise software, giving them an advantage in the digital, always-on economy.”

Currently, the bank’s suite of APIs on CashPro spans the following eight categories:

  • CashPro Payments, featuring real-time payments such as PayPal, Zelle and ACH.
  • CashPro Information Reporting.
  • Push notifications.
  • Commercial Card.
  • Bond trading and prime brokerage.
  • Boleto Bancário.
  • Check services.
  • Foreign exchange.

“APIs are rapidly transforming B2B and B2C digital transactions,” said Tom Durkin, global product head for CashPro. “Using APIs, clients can improve their interaction with us and receive essential data needed for reconciliation and forecasting more quickly. They can transact instantly and get up-to-the-minute account information without leaving their enterprise systems.”

The bank says that it will add even more APIs in the coming months, to support additional payment types and other treasury needs and advance straight-through processing in all areas of its clients’ corporate treasury operations.

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