BofA Merchant Services cuts 10% of workforce, citing ‘digital era’

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Payments’ gradual shift from physical to digital channels is translating into fewer feet on the ground for Bank of America Merchant Services, which recently cut 10% of its workforce, citing changes in its marketing strategy.

The Atlanta-based payments processor, which provides broad solutions for merchants to accept payments at the point of sale, online and through mobile channels, announced a restructuring last week to accelerate business in an “increasingly digital era,” resulting in a reduction of jobs in select positions across the company, the company said in a statement.

About 250 positions were eliminated, according to Dow Jones.

In recent months BofA Merchants Services launched a new section of its website targeting small-business merchants with a heavy focus on self-service.

“In terms of digital channels to better serve existing and prospective clients, we’re expanding the way merchants can engage with us via digital channels, including our website, to explore the full range of solutions and services we offer,” said Greg Efthimiou, vice president of communications for BofA’s merchant services unit, via email.

BofA Merchant Services' downsizing isn't very surprising, said Steve Mott, principal of the consulting firm BetterBuyDesign.

"This is more of the steady compression seen in the acquiring business, where a lot more transaction volume is transitioning from the physical POS to a more flexible, modular, mobile structure that's more turnkey on the back end, and it doesn't support as many people," Mott said.

BofA Merchant Services is a joint venture formed in 2009 between Bank of America Corp. and First Data, which markets its Clover line of mobile payments products and services within the operation. The venture processes more than 15.2 billion transactions at approximately 600,000 merchant locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

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Payment processing Bank of America First Data