Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill) has launched an enhanced virtual card capability that uses an API to enable commercial clients to connect directly to the bank’s virtual card system.

The new solution, called BofA Merrill Virtual Payables, also leverages new capabilities to create single-use account numbers in real time. Using an API, a client can also initiate payments via batch file deliver from its accounts payable/enterprise resource planning system or via the user interface.

BofA Merrill says the system streamlines the payment process for both buyers and their suppliers. Each transaction has a unique account number tied to it, which the bank claims improves reconciliation for both parties. With the new solution, suppliers no longer need to store card numbers, as all account information is provided via email and secure URL. Purchasing clients can also integrate the virtual card solution into their travel booking process.

While Virtual Payables is offered globally, the enhancements announced today are currently only available in North America.

Jennifer Petty, global head of card and comprehensive payables at BofA Merrill GTS, said: “Our North American marketplace is mature, yet benefits from continued product innovation. This improved Virtual Payables offering will greatly benefit our clients, their suppliers and the market. We will look to bring enhanced capabilities throughout our global footprint as the market evolves.”