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Payments Canada appoints Peter Dodic as new CRO
12 June 2018

Payments Canada, the country's financial market infrastructure for payments, has announced that Peter Dodic has joined its Executive Leadership Team as Chief Risk Officer. He was previously Managing Director, Operational Risk Management at BMO Financial Group.

Italy's banks set up their blockchain front line
11 June 2018

A first group of 14 Italian banks has started testing a blockchain system with the support of ABI Lab, the technological laboratory supported by the Italian Banking Association. The new tech will be applied to interbank processes to increase data transparency and visibility, speed in executing transactions, the participants say, as well as allowing checks and exchanges directly within the application. The banks are Banca Mediolanum, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Sella, BNL BNP Paribas Group, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Banco BPM, CheBanca! - Mediobanca Group, Credito Emiliano, Credit Agricole, Credito Valtellinese, Iccrea Banca, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi Banca, and Ubi. The group will be using R3’s Corda blockchain technology.

SWIFT unveils names of Chinese banks live with gpi
11 June 2018

SWIFT has released the names of the ten Chinese banks that have gone live on its global payments innovation initiative (gpi) since its launch in 2017.   The banks are Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Minsheng Bank, China Guangfa Bank, China Construction Bank, Bank of Jiangsu, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, China Citic Bank, and China Zheshang Bank. Seventeen other Chinese banks have committed to SWIFT gpi in China and are in the process of going live.

Out of the sandbox: Creating the right tools for the job
Out of the sandbox: Creating the right tools for the job
Paul Golden
6 June 2018

Financial regulators across Europe, North America and Asia are adopting a variety of strategies to encourage the development of financial technology in their jurisdictions, which does not bode well for the FCA’s ambitions to promote cross-border consensus.

Orobo and OpenWay team on West African cross-border money transfers
5 June 2018

New money transfer platform Orobo is opening up cross-border remittance and bill-payments into Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra-Leone and supporting financial inclusion in West Africa. It will use the WAY4 digital payments platform by OpenWay. Orobo facilitates money transfers from the US to Nigeria as well as bill payments for services within Nigeria.

Key trends impacting buyer-led early pay techniques
5 June 2018

As we move more and more into a digital and smart supply chain, initiatives to enable early pay for a broader segment of a company's suppliers is increasingly becoming a reality. Key trends include managing multiple solutions - more companies are starting to take a wider integrated approach when it comes different early pay programs; and how from self-funding to hybrid models - the role of funding early pay programs is changing.

Huobi partners on $93m China-South Korea Blockchain fund
4 June 2018

Singapore-headquartered digital currency exchanger company Huobi has unveiled a new partnership that will see it launch an investment fund dedicated to blockchain startups in China and South Korea. The firm has teamed up with Chinese investment firm NewMargin Capital and South Korean securities firm Kiwoom Securities on the joint effort. Banks from South Korea, including Korea Development Bank and Industrial Bank Of Korea, are to invest in the fund as limited partners. The companies are hoping to raise the local equivalent of $93 million to be invested in blockchain startups in China and South Korea, as well as to encourage cooperation between blockchain projects in the two nations.

Natixis Payments and TransferWise unveil partnership
4 June 2018

TransferWise, Natixis Payments and France's Groupe BPCE have announced a partnership that will enable Banques Populaires' and Caisses d'Epargne's 15,1 million individual active customers to send money to over 60 countries at the real exchange rate. It is the first time in Europe that a major bank will directly integrate TransferWise's API into mobile banking apps. The partnership is set to be launched at the beginning of 2019 and will offer a digital solution to send money outside the eurozone at TransferWise's usual low fee.

'Trust' key to corporate treasurers in increasing digitalised environment
4 June 2018

A survey of corporate treasurers reveals that attaining a reliable relationship takes a combination of factors, include inherent trust, delivery excellence and a strong relationship mode, according to BNP Paribas and Boston Consulting Group. Their 2018 Corporate Treasury Insights report found that these factors are harder to track and master amid the growing polarisation in the treasurer's role and their renewed expectations. The new data highlights that about 65% of the respondents confirm a high level of trust in their bank. Most banks benefit from inherent trust due to their compliance with regulation, their scale and their long-term establishment. But treasurers, especially in mature economy, no longer always see banks as the sole trusted advisor.

NatWest seeks business participants for accounts payable tool trial
1 June 2018

NatWest is looking for businesses to take part in the trial of a new system to help cut costs, improve productivity and boost cash flow. NatWest APtimise brings together invoice automation and intelligent payments in one cloud solution.  NatWest claims a small and medium-sized enterprise typically receiving 100 invoices a month will spend more than 20 hours manually keying invoices, matching them to purchase orders, responding to supplier queries, scheduling, approving and executing payments. APtimise cuts the time by more than half, it says.

Former MD of Metro Bank preps new SME challenger Recognise
31 May 2018

Jason Oakley, the former MD of Metro Bank, is readying his new small and medium-sized enterprise challenger bank to enter the UK market. The new entity will be called Recognise and aims to be trading under restriction by the middle of next year.

InstaReM and BeeTech open payment corridor on RippleNet
31 May 2018

Money transfer operators InstaReM and BeeTech are to open up a new payments corridor between South East Asia and Latin America using Ripple's instant payment rails. The agreement will enable customers of the Singapore-based operator to send real-time payments into South America. BeeTech users will benefit from instant pay out services via xVia into the 60 markets across the world that InstaReM supports.

SME underwriting slowed at the end of 2017
31 May 2018

US small and medium-sized enterprises seeking loans decreased at the end of 2017 and companies felt the sting of financial challenges more acutely, according to the Federal Reserve. Overall, demand for financing was down, with only 40% of firms seeking funds - a 45% decrease from the year before. Among those who sought credit, 48% looked to larger banks for funds, while 47% turned to smaller banks. Nearly a quarter - 24% - turned to online lenders, while 18% took loans from auto to equipment dealers directly.

Ant Financial signs third Chinese bank technology deal
31 May 2018

Ant Financial, the financial services spin-off of e-commerce group Alibaba, has has signed its third deal this month as a strategic technology supplier to the Chinese banking industry. The agreement with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD Bank) follows partnerships with Huaxia Bank and China Everbright Bank. Ant Financial and SPD Bank will partner in online risk management, including fraud prevention, with the former providing technological support to help the latter prevent loan, transaction and marketing fraud. The partnership will also leverage Ant's financial-grade technologies in AI, supply chain finance, biometric identification and risk management.

Natixis joins Marco Polo trade finance network
31 May 2018

French bank Natixis has joined the trade finance network Marco Polo, a joint undertaking with enterprise software firm R3, fintech firm TradeIX, and a network of financial institutions including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, and Standard Chartered.

Tradeshift: Goldman Sachs leads $250m funding round
30 May 2018

Danish supply chain finance group Tradeshift has closed a $250 million Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Public Sector Pension Investment Board. HSBC, H14, GP Bullhound, and Gray Swan, a new venture company established by Tradeshift’s founders, joined the round which brings Tradeshift’s total funding to more than $400 million and gives it a $1.1 billion valuation.   

Juan Pablo Cuevas joins Earthport from BAML
30 May 2018

Juan Pablo Cuevas has joined cross-border payments fintech group Earthport as its Latin America and the Caribbean Executive. He joins from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was Managing Director, Trade and Supply Chain Executive.

TransferMate unveils Global Receivables to handle overseas payments
30 May 2018

Cross-border B2B payments provider TransferMate has launched Global Receivables, a new solution for businesses to bill and collect overseas payments from thousands of customers in seconds.   The Republic of Ireland-headquartered group said the solution was particularly suited to businesses with significant volumes of receivables in foreign currencies.

US Department of Defense to speed up payments to SMEs
30 May 2018

US senators have debuted a bill that seeks to quicken payments to smaller businesses from the Department of Defense. Under the terms of legislation, the DoD would be required to pay smaller contractors, as well as larger firms that deploy small contractors, within 15 days - quicker than the current terms of 30 days.

Swiss aviation company Swissport to explore blockchain
30 May 2018

Swiss aviation company Swissport is seeking to tap blockchain technology to enhance the efficiency of its operations. The airport ground and cargo handling services provider is launching a blockchain pilot with Olam, a not-for-profit foundation aimed at developing an open-source platform for supply chain partners.

Fidelity Bank offers new products to SMEs in Ghana
30 May 2018

Fidelity Bank Ghana is boosting its support of the country's small and medium-sized enterprises through new products, specialized services, as well as financial and technical assistance.   The plans were revealed at the bank's SME summit in Accra, which was held so the businesses could interact and share ideas, as well as find out how the bank can lend more assistance to its SME clients.

Can lenders learn from Google’s AI story?
29 May 2018

We know data driven finance can drive up business advance rates for all types of event financing - starting from purchase orders and raw material buys, to inventory to finally receivables. Factoring, for example, is traditionally financing 75% to 90% of invoice value, while many forms of approved invoice finance do either 100% less interest or a percentage off invoice value (ie, 1% to 3%)   The movement to bring real time data to lending continues, and while everyone wants to issue the next ICO coin, there are some exciting and quiet developments to help businesses access cash when and where needed.

Wirecard extends platform to B2B lending market
29 May 2018

Digital financial technology group Wirecard is expanding its ecosystem of value-added services by now offering loans via its platform to existing B2B customers. The credit assessment and decision system is directly integrated into Wirecard's digital payment infrastructure. An Artificial Intelligence (AI) based data analysis system, which uses data from long-term business relationships in the area of payment processing, can be used for real-time evaluation.  

Bibby seeks Irish FX licence for EU market post-Brexit
29 May 2018

SME lender Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has applied for an Irish licence to operate a foreign exchange (FX) service, with a view to passporting from the country into the rest of the European Union. BFS has operated in Ireland since 2006. Its UK-based parent originally emerged from Britain's Bibby Line shipping group, and much of its focus in the 16 countries where it operates includes import/export services. The financial services arm is based in the UK but is now looking to tap its Irish unit to counteract the potential impact of Brexit.

Tradeteq: Machine learning critical for better SME credit scoring in trade finance
25 May 2018

Trade asset distribution platform Tradeteq has released a white paper aimed at demonstrating how machine learning, combined with broader data collection, can improve access to trade finance for SMEs. The paper states that traditional models - such as the Altman Z-score - use a 'linear discriminant' analysis, which is based on several accounting indicators. This presents a number of issues for SMEs - including focusing on a small number of accounting entries while ignoring valuable non-accounting information. Being based on accounting data filed on an annual basis, traditional scoring also lacks timely information.   The paper argues that a good predictive credit model for trade finance lending should accommodate varying data availability across companies to increase the depth of datasets, leverage a broad set of available and emerging data sources, and utilise trade network data, including common clients, suppliers, or bank relationships, to spot irregularities and predict credit risk.

PayPal now a payment option for Sage invoices
25 May 2018

Business management firm Sage is partnering with PayPal to make payment acceptance easier for small and medium-sized enterprises. Sage is integrating PayPal into its platform, enabling companies using Sage 50cloud to pay invoices with PayPal. Companies can also begin accepting payments from their business customers that pay with PayPal by creating a PayPal business account.

SWIFT: 25% of all cross-border payments now over gpi
25 May 2018

SWIFT has announced that 25% of all SWIFT cross border payment traffic is being sent over the global payments innovation (gpi) just 15 months after the service was launched. More than 165 banks, representing 80% of SWIFT's cross-border payments traffic, and including 49 of the world's top 50 banks, have signed up to the service. To date, 50 million gpi payments have been processed.

JMLSG publishes asset finance, syndicated loans AML revisions
25 May 2018

The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) has published proposed revisions to two of the sectors of its guidance on anti-money laundering (AML) and the financing of terrorism for the UK financial services industry. The proposed revisions, are to the asset finance and syndicated lending sectors.

Commerzbank makes first major FX pilot transaction via blockchain
25 May 2018

Commerzbank has traded an FX forward with German industrial group thyssenkrupp in which the pilot transaction was instantaneously replicated in a blockchain. The EUR/PLN FX forward deal, which amounted to €500,000 with a one month tenor, was initiated by thyssenkrupp using FX Live Trader, Commerzbank's FX trading platform.

Earthport appoints new CEO
24 May 2018

Payments network Earthport has appointed Amanda Mesler as CEO with effect from 1 July 2018. She replaces Phil Hickman who had been serving as interim CEO and who will now resume his previous role as non-executive chairman. In conjunction with this appointment, Hank Uberoi will step down as executive chairman but will remain a non-executive director and senior advisor to the CEO and board.  Mesler joins from Microsoft, where she recently managed the Enterprise Business in Central and Eastern Europe across 33 countries. Prior to that she was chief operating officer at Misys.

Euler Hermes reports on working capital requirements
24 May 2018

Euler Hermes has released a report analysing companies' working capital requirements (WCR). Almost all advanced economies faced a rise in 2017, notably the US (+5 days), Germany (+7), Japan (+8) and France (+3). In Asia, WCR rose in seven out of nine countries. The four exceptions are countries where the drop in WCR resulted conversely in a sharp reduction in stock levels: Italy (-14 days in DIO), Belgium (-13), China (-11) and Singapore (-5) over last year. Almost all countries across Eastern Europe, Africa/Middle East and Latin America registered a fall in their WCR in 2017.

Bangkok Bank signs up to Marco Polo trade finance initiative
24 May 2018

Bangkok Bank - Thailand's largest lender - has joined the Marco Polo trade finance initiative run by enterprise software firm R3 and trade finance technology specialist TradeIX. Marco Polo enables end-to-end, real-time, connectivity between trade participants.

Kountable considers blockchain to streamline trade in East Africa
24 May 2018

US-based technology and trade firm Kountable is partnering with East African small and medium-sized enterprises in a bid to streamline trade in the region. Kountable has signed an agreement with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to open the platform to its SME members match companies to other firms offering the same goods and facilitating the trade. The company also has its presence in Rwanda and Mauritius.

EML Payments joins Saxo Payments Banking Circle
24 May 2018

Payment card technology solutions provider EML Payments has joined Saxo Payments Banking Circle. EML operates in 16 countries across Europe, as well as in Australia, the US and Canada. Using Banking Circle Virtual IBAN, EML will be able to issue its clients with a dedicated account in their name, making reconciliation of card scheme flow much easier.

Bank of Shanghai issues China's first blockchain-based LC
24 May 2018

The Bank of Shanghai and China Construction Bank has signed an agreement to launch China's first blockchain-based Letter of Credit (LC). Bank of Shanghai also entered a strategic cooperation arrangement with Jiangsu HopeRun Software, an IT solutions and service provider, to officially unveil a platform using blockchain.  

Belgium's KBC in instant payments project with Temenos
24 May 2018

Belgium-based banking group KBC is working with Temenos and its Temenos Payments Hub to build instant payments functionality for its clients. KBC is already a client of Temenos, with its T24 core banking system running at the group's subsidiaries in Ireland and Bulgaria, and the roll-out underway in Hungary and Slovakia.

Demica and FCI unite on FCIreverse Platform
23 May 2018

Open account factoring and receivables finance industry body FCI has signed an agreement with working capital solutions provider Demica to allow FCI members access to the FCIreverse Platform. FCIreverse will be made available to all members at the end of the pilot stage, which should be completed by the end of the year. It represents the first ever SCF agreement signed between a global trading network and a major technology partner, according to Demica.

Supply chain titans eye blockchain for global commerce
23 May 2018

 The supply chain industry, which comprises two-thirds of the global economy, and the customs and border authorities that govern cross-border commerce, are actively exploring how new technologies and methods of data sharing can unleash pent-up economic activity. Tom Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the Global Supply Chain Summit, urged both industry and regulators alike to consider new technologies that can ensure that the flow of goods and services moves at the “speed of commerce” rather than the “speed of bureaucracy".  

EFiS selects SWIFT for instant payments connectivity within the Eurozone
23 May 2018

EFiS, the longest serving SWIFT Service Bureau in the EU, has selected SWIFT to provide connectivity to the Eurosystem's TIPS and EBA Clearing's RT1 for instant payments within the euro-area. EFiS will offer its service under the agenda "Banks for TIPS" to its bank clients. The pilot phase will begin in September 2018.

Fintech, Brexit, PSD2 top treasurers' priorities
23 May 2018

Incoming fintech disruption, legislation such as PSD2, and market shifts stemming from Brexit are among the top prioroties for corporate treasurers. Almost a third of treasurers surveyed at the Association of Corporate Treasurers conference said they had set up a committee to analyse the impact of Brexit on their organizations, but a quarter said that while they have started to plan around Brexit, they have not made any progress on their initiative. Nearly the same number - 23.9% - said they haven't started at all and are instead in "wait-and-see" mode.

Australia's Big Four admit SME loan mistakes
23 May 2018

Australia’s 'Big Four' lenders - Westpac, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank - admitted to misconduct related to lending practices to small businesses. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group acknowledged 47 fraudulent business loans that were extended last year, as the nation’s inquiry into industry wrongdoings continues. Westpac admitted signing on a legally blind pensioner as a loan guarantor for a small business without warning the business owner of the risk, then demanding the business owner sell her house when the business failed. Commonwealth Bank of Australia admitted systemic double-charging of interest to some small business customers and did not notify those SMEs in a timely manner once the double charges were discovered. And National Australia Bank said it overcharged some clients because of miscalculated interest rates and double-charged fees.

MUFG and Akamai plan new blockchain payments service
22 May 2018

MUFG plans a new payments service using blockchain technology implemented on US-based Akamai’s cloud delivery platform. The lender says the platform will offer a capacity to process a million transactions per second and the ability to finalise transactions in less than two seconds.  

Business leaders chosen to scrutinise UK's Financial Reporting Council
22 May 2018

A group of 11 business executives in the UK have been chosen to lead the inquiry into the nation's accounting watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council, and assess whether the body is effective at identifying and preventing accounting issues.   M&G chief executive Anne Richards, HM Treasury non-executive director and deputy chair of Kinnevik Amelia Fawcett, and former audit partner at PwC and former chair of the Accounting Standard Board Mary Keegan are all on the panel. No current executives from the so-called Big Four accountancy firms - PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG - are in the group, according to reports.

Lubig takes over from Kini at Deutsche
22 May 2018

Deutsche Bank has appointed Dirk Lubig as head of GTB China and head of Corporate Cash Management Greater China. He will be based in Shanghai and...

Demand and capacity in the CPRI market is on the rise
22 May 2018

The credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) market globally has seen a substantial increase across all product lines over the past three years. Maximum lines for non-payment of private and public risks have risen by 30% to $2.4 billion and $3 billion respectively during the period. The report, released by BPL Global, shows the volumes of exposure the market is willing to absorb: in Africa ($7.75 billion), the Middle East ($6.45 billion), and Latin America ($5.46 billion). Total exposure in BPL Global's portfolio stands at $41.1 billion.

FCI releases new revised factoring statistics
22 May 2018

Factoring industry association FCI's new World Factoring Statistics 2017 shows a 9% increase worldwide, reaching a figure of €2,598,298 million. China witnessed the most significant revision, where, against the initially reported figure of €282,000 million, representing a 7% decrease the previous year, the correct estimate is €405,537 million: an increase of 34%.   The UK market, which accounts for +20% of European volume, continues to suffer from the high volatility of its currency, recording a decrease in volume of -1%, in part stemming from the Brexit.

Yapi Kredi refinances trade on-lending facility
21 May 2018

Yapı Kredi signed one of its annual trade finance on-lending facilities on 8 May. Syndicated via 48 banks and led by joint coordinators ICBC, First Abu Dhabi Bank and Standard Chartered Bank with facility agent Mizuho, the dual currency facility comprises a 367-day and a two-year-plus-one-business-day piece totaling $1.5 billion. The euro and dollar debt is split between $332 million and €898 million tranches at the 367 day maturity, and $50 million and €25 million at the longer term. The deal refinances Yapi’s existing syndication loan signed on 4 May 2017 with a 111% roll-over ratio. The all-in debt cost is in line with market rates – 130bp over Libor and 120bp over Euribor for the 367 day tranche, and Libor-plus 210bp and Euribor-plus 150bp for the longer tranche.

Deutsche's Lynne adds global transaction banking to his role
21 May 2018

David Lynne, Asia Pacific chief for fixed-income and currencies at Deutsche Bank, is to also take on the role of head of the global transaction banking unit in the region. Lynne, who joined Deutsche Bank in 1995 and is based in Singapore, will replace Lisa Robins who left in 2017 after a six-year stint to join Standard Chartered.

Stripe and JCB sign payments MoU
18 May 2018

US-headquartered Stripe and Japan's JCB have signed an MOU for a global partnership aiming for JCB brand acceptance at all internet merchants using the Stripe payment platform, in any local currency around the world. Stripe provides multicurrency payment processing for tens of thousands of merchants worldwide.

Wales and Northern Ireland fintech envoys are named
18 May 2018

Wales and Northern Ireland are getting their own financial technology envoys as part of a government effort to ensure that the UK maintains its position, post-Brexit, as a leading fintech player. The new fintech envoy for Wales will be Richard Theo, co-founder and CEO of Wealthify, while in Northern Ireland his counterpart will be Georgina O’Leary, director of innovation, research and development at Allstate Northern Ireland.