Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) and payments service PayPal announced a collaboration Thursday (Feb. 1) through which the bank's business customers can make international payments in local currencies to clients with PayPal accounts — and all using only an email address.
In a press release, Bank of America said payments are initiated through its Global Digital Disbursements product and can be made from the U.S. to PayPal account holders residing in Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the Philippines.
“We’re excited to add the PayPal payment option to our Digital Disbursements solution, and [to] offer another way for clients to disburse funds quickly and efficiently across borders,” said Hubert J.P. Jolly, global head of financing and channels for Global Transaction Services (GTS) at BofA Merrill. “The agreement will help our clients access the growth in the use of digital wallets, which, in many parts of the world, are the preferred method of payment.”
Bank of America launched its Digital Disbursements offering in 2014 and was the first financial firm in the U.S. to provide interbank business-to-consumer (B2C) payments using an email address or mobile phone number to identify the payee. According to the bank, it is now the first U.S. financial firm to offer B2C payments via PayPal.
Beginning Thursday (Feb. 1), BofA Merrill clients can officially use a payee’s email address to make payments via PayPal, removing the need to obtain recipients' bank information like account or routing numbers.
According to the financial institution, the new service with PayPal will benefit large portions of the economy — including sharing economy business models, gig economy business models, online marketplaces, nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions that disburse money to students and insurance claim payments, among others. It will also mean faster access to funds and more convenience for recipients, Bank of America said.