Collaboration in action

Published: Sep 2023

Bank of America’s new payments portal Recipient Select shows how banks and their corporate clients can work together for transformative results. Traditional top-down relationships are out – and genuine collaboration is in.

When consumers need to pay companies, they are now used to a plethora of options. At the end of a transaction, that payment screen can offer everything from credit cards to digital wallets to direct bank account debit.

However, on the other side of the fence, the options have been more limited. When consumers need to get paid by a company – for example, to receive an insurance payout or a healthcare refund – paper checks have historically been the norm. Compared to the choice and transparency they have when making payments, these options to receive payments can be slow and opaque.

Cue Bank of America’s Recipient Select, a hosted branded platform which allows customers to choose how they want to be paid (options for US consumers include emerging payment methods such as Zelle®, real-time payments (RTP) and digital wallets, and more traditional methods such as ACH and cheque).

The way Bank of America researched and developed this new product, at speed, highlights a growing and important trend: corporates themselves are pushing the pace and type of innovation, rather than waiting passively for new capabilities.

Working with clients to find a solution

Corporations knew that allowing consumers to choose how they wanted to be paid was long overdue. Traditional larger firms faced nimble new competitors and, if they did not meet consumer expectations of choice, they risked losing market share to those digital disruptors.

Understanding the need for choice was more straightforward than providing it. For corporations, gearing up to offer a wider variety of payment options, and linking those to existing systems, could be complex and unwieldy.

Bank of America’s product development teams were aware of this issue from conversations with clients. They broke out of traditional silos and began to work with a small group of clients, including one significant player in the e-commerce space, to map out what a solution might look like. The result was Recipient Select.

A new relationship

Delivering products that meet client expectations should be nothing new – it is what successful banks have always done – but the impetus behind the launch of Recipient Select signals a new willingness by corporates to ask their banks to solve problems rather than waiting for innovation to happen. What was once, by necessity, a top-down process has become genuinely collaborative. Banks and their corporate clients will increasingly share experiences and information to help deliver services fine-tuned to specific use cases.

Zelle and the Zelle-related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

Keep an eye out for next month’s Thought for the Month.

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