Purchase Street Unveiled for States, Localities

Purchase Street Unveiled for States, Localities

By William Welsh, Staff Writer

JULY 7 ? Bank of America N.A. and NIC Commerce Inc. have announced the formation of a new company, called Banc of America Purchase Street LLC, that will provide a secure, online shopping service to state and local government agencies.

Government agencies shopping on Purchase Street will be able to place orders online with preferred suppliers, request a quote from businesses for services, process transactions, initiate payments and reconcile transactions.

Agency customers also may personalize their services to reflect preferred suppliers, contract requirements and other conditions through a browser-based catalog, according to a July 6 announcement from NIC.

Meanwhile, Bank of America N.A., announced the same day that it has entered a contract, with the assistance of Reston, Va.-based NIC Commerce, to provide procurement services to the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments in Texas through 2005.

Under the agreement with the council, Bank of America will provide payment and other financial services as well as related support services. NIC will provide electronic procurement software, manage catalog content and secure hosting services from software servers.

"Many of these electronic financial services such as transaction settlement, credit assurance and cash management are inherent to banking and therefore position Bank of America as a leading provider of online payment solutions," said Jim Hulihan, head of Commercial Card Services, Bank of America.

"This innovative solution includes a transaction-based business model that combines the features, functionality and embedded business rules from our software along with our experience working with the supplier community," said Rob Main, president of NIC Commerce.

"This will allow us to deliver a complete Web-based, end-to-end e-commerce solution," he said. "It also will drastically improve the vendor payment cycle, providing valuable reporting capabilities to both buyer and seller and reconcile financial data in a fraction of the time of the existing business process."

Bank of America N.A., a division of Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp., has issued state government purchase cards to one-quarter of the states.

NIC Commerce is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Information Consortium Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., and specializes in providing e-commerce solutions to help streamline public-sector purchasing.

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