Daily News: March 21, 2012

BofA Merrill Lynch Launches New Trade, Supply Chain Portal


Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced the launch of Trade Pro, an electronic platform for large corporate and middle-market companies seeking to enhance their trade and financial supply chain operations. Trade Pro will be available through CashPro Online, the bank’s treasury management and online banking channel for corporate and institutional clients, which offers an integrated view of treasury and trade functions.

Trade Pro enables clients to automate and more efficiently manage import and export trade and supply chain activity between buyers and sellers, saving time and resources. As a truly global offering, Trade Pro is available in multiple languages. Additionally, Trade Pro delivers more flexibility and power to the users through customized settings and dynamic data-mining and reporting to best tailor their experience to specific global business needs.

“The functionality of Trade Pro will help to transform the way that company CFOs and treasurers manage trade and supply chain finance transactions,” said Bruce Proctor, head of Global Trade and Supply Chain Finance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The online tool will assist in making transactions more efficient and predictable while aiding in reducing resources, risks and expenses resulting from Trade Pro’s improved tracking, reporting, and management of export and import activity.”

Proctor added that the integration of Trade Pro to the bank’s online portal, CashPro, was critical to the offering in order to reflect the growing trend of corporates to take a more holistic approach to treasury and trade. “Our clients are increasing their focus on counterparty risk and cash flow management. They are under pressure to unlock working capital trapped in the supply chain and to optimize their cash conversion cycle,” he said. “Trade Pro will significantly add to a company’s ability to successfully execute their cash management strategy.”

Key features of Trade Pro include:

  • Importers will be able to automate their purchase order (PO) details into letter of credit (LC) or open account (OA) transactions. Users can access online web images of related paper documents or electronic data elements to gain additional transaction-level insight.

  • Exporters will be able to access web reporting to view export LC or OA transaction details and presentation discrepancies.

  • Buyers will be able to make approved invoice details for discounting prior to maturity available to sellers.