Bank of America has partnered with Kanexa to launch a new offering that aims to speed up invoice approval and payment from what was often days or weeks to a matter of minutes.

Open Account Automation, unveiled by the bank during the Sibos event in Toronto, brings together data that exists within the supply chain ecosystem for users of Bank of America’s CashPro, a digital banking platform used by more than 40,000 Bank of America clients to manage their treasury and trade operations.

Using technology provided by Kanexa, Open Account Automation enables clients to digitally onboard suppliers and give them access to real-time data that enables instant visibility into whether their invoices have been approved for payment, or if there are discrepancies that need to be resolved.

Leveraging Bank of America’s suite of CashPro APIs, which clients can access through one of 28 treasury management system and enterprise resource planning platforms that are integrated into the bank’s platform, the system extracts data from documents, matching purchase orders with invoices, warehouse receipts and other logistics information. Buyers can set rules for invoice approval based on this information, as well as parameters for automated discrepancy resolution. Once an invoice is approved and matures, the system will automatically disburse payment to the supplier.

“With global commerce operating 24/7, companies need the ability to view and act on information in as close to real-time as possible. Open Account Automation offers that transparency and the ability to self-serve,” says Jay Davenport, global co-head of corporate sales for Bank of America’s global transaction services business. “Buyers will now have a more complete view of when and where their goods are in the supply chain and sellers will have visibility into when and what they’ll be paid.”

This is the first major bank partnership for Kanexa, the rebranded entity that has emerged from the liquidation of blockchain trade finance venture Marco Polo Network.

Speaking to GTR during the Sibos event in Toronto, Geoff Brady, Bank of America’s head of global trade and supply chain finance, said: “Being a participant in the structuring of an ecosystem is the way that we view our next-generation trade finance and supply chain business. This will be in conjunction with vendors that are good at certain things, be that technology service providers, cloud providers or fintechs.”

“If a fintech has a service that they can provide to the ecosystem, then we will open the door for them. The question I would ask of all fintechs is: ‘Do you do something unique? Is it useful? Can it fit into the big picture of trade finance?’ And if they do, then they have a chance to grow and thrive.”

Bank of America says that Open Account Automation is the first module of CashPro Supply Chain Solutions, which it seeks to expand out into a platform aimed at digitising traditionally manual working capital and supply chain processes. An upcoming update to the platform will see the bank add the ability for suppliers to select approved invoices for early payment.