Bank of America debuts mobile wallet platform in China

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch is launching a payments collection platform that helps users manage mobile wallets and card payments in China through an arrangement with China UnionPay Merchant Services.

BofA Merrill Lynch says it is the first non-Chinese bank to offer the end-to-end payments solution that provides one port accepting transactions through multiple channels in China.

The new collection channel provides the bank's business clients in China with software that streamlines payments collection and reconciliation, covering mobile wallets, virtual cards and physical cards supported nationwide through China UnionPay.

“Mobile payments have been growing at a rapid pace in China, driven by the increasing use of virtual wallets," Faisal Ameen, head of Asia Pacific global transaction services at BofA Merrill, said in a press release. Ameen cited Alipay, WeChat Pay and UnionPay as examples of wallets gaining strength in China.

“Our solution provides the convenience of having all payments consolidated onto a single platform," Ameen added. "By not having to match payments against different bank accounts, clients will achieve greater operational efficiency.”

Clients set up one account with BofA Merrill to have access to a single point of support to manage funds coming through their online and physical payments channels.

The solution also provides comprehensive reporting capabilities, allowing clients to tailor the level of transaction details they need. Reports in English and Chinese are available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on clients’ requirements, the bank said.

While not deploying its own consumer-facing mobile wallet, BofA has nonetheless put its focus on the mobile channel in positioning itself as a distribution channel for mobile transactions.

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