Bank of America Global Treasury Services (GTS) Enhances Trade Payables Discounting Program for High Volume Buyers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 16, 2006 - Bank of America Global Treasury Services (GTS) today announced the integration of enhanced supply chain finance technology and supplier outreach services, further enhancing its Trade Payables Discounting Program. The Trade Payables Discounting Program allows Bank of America clients to significantly reduce working capital requirements and finance costs throughout their supply chains, helping to strengthen operating margins, improve cash conversion cycles and develop stronger supplier relationships.

“Bank of America’s robust technology and enhanced functionality provide all supply chain participants with greater visibility into the cash flows associated with trade payables which in turn drives reductions in working capital requirements as well as finance and operational costs,” said Dan Scanlan, senior vice president, Global Product Manager - Trade, Bank of America.

Through the automated trade payables program, buyers can:

· Automatically upload invoice data into a secure, Web-based platform.
· Provide suppliers with web-based visibility into the cash flow associated with trade payables.
· Collaborate online with suppliers on credit memos and other invoice offsets.
· Enable suppliers to obtain “on-demand” financing at their discretion at the invoice level by requesting that Bank of America discount their accounts receivable due from the buyer.
· Settle all trade payables electronically.

Bank of America offers a comprehensive payables presentment, discounting and financial settlement service via a hosted technology solution delivered in connection with PrimeRevenue, Inc. Clients provide Bank of America with an electronic output from their accounts payable system with approved payables data, such as payable date and amount. This information is uploaded to a hosted Web-based platform. At anytime, suppliers can log onto the Web-based front-end system and view the amount and exact payment date of approved receivables. Clients and their suppliers can collaborate to determine the final invoice amount through the posting of credit memos. The supplier finance component then allows suppliers to sell these receivables to Bank of America in order to accelerate cash flow.

Client suppliers may choose to receive cash for any - or all - of these receivables at any point up until the invoice maturity date. Suppliers receive 100 percent of the value of the receivable less discount charges. The system allows for different discount rates for different suppliers. A supplier may choose to discount individual receivables rather than an arbitrary bundle or simply wait to receive full payment electronically at the end of the receivable term. A supplier only pays a fee, the discount charge, if it chooses to discount the receivable prior to maturity.

At the end of the normal payment term, clients remit payment to a clearing account held at Bank of America. The system then issues electronic funds transfer instructions, which distribute payments to each supplier or to Bank of America, if the supplier discounted the invoice. This eliminates check-processing, wire and ACH charges normally associated with supplier payments. Payment cycles are reduced to as little as 48 hours from current terms. The solution leverages existing systems and processes, with minimal changes to clients’ current business processes.

“Trade Payables Discounting is one component of our full suite of financial supply chain services. This solution can also be combined with our Purchase Order-to-Pay Service, an end-to-end payables reconciliation solution for open account and letter of credit transactions, allowing you to further reduce the administrative effort associated with payables management,” concluded Scanlan.

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