ADB, GEAPP and MAS establish Asian energy transition finance partnership
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have announced their intent to establish a blended finance partnership to accelerate energy transition at scale in Asia.
The three organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up an energy transition acceleration finance partnership to mobilise concessional capital from the philanthropic and public sectors, de-risk projects, and crowd-in private capital from around the globe to finance energy transition projects in Asia. Such projects include the early phaseout of coal assets to be replaced with renewable energy and decarbonisation projects in hard-to-abate sectors.
Through the collaboration, the partners say they will develop a pipeline of opportunities and deploy innovative and scalable financing structures to drive decarbonisation in Asia. The partnership will also explore using high-integrity transition carbon credits to improve the commercial viability and sustainability of retiring and replacing coal assets with renewable energy and facilitate the mainstreaming of such transactions. The transactions will reference global best practice standards, including the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) APAC guidelines, Singapore-Asia Taxonomy, and ASEAN taxonomy.
The partnership aims to raise up to US$2bn in concessional and commercial capital from other like-minded partners. ADB will provide origination, transaction and technical support through its presence and network in countries across the region. The partnership will benefit from ADB’s broader Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) initiative, including policy support for just energy transition, contributions from the governments of Japan, Germany and other countries under the ETM Partnership Trust Fund, and pipeline of investable projects.
GEAPP will contribute philanthropic capital, its experience in the energy transition, and a coalition of committed partners. MAS will mobilise key stakeholders in Singapore’s financing ecosystem, including infrastructure finance platforms such as Clifford Capital. MAS will also enable policy support for the collaboration, including its transition planning guidance to financial institutions, transition-focused taxonomy, and work in developing high-integrity transition carbon credits via the Transition Credits Coalition (TRACTION). All three partners also intend to mobilise and contribute catalytic capital to crowd in other concessional and commercial capital providers and like-minded partners.
Citi and Traydstream to streamline document services
Citi will collaborate with Traydstream to provide clients access to an automated trade-document processing capability. The collaboration aims to allow clients to leverage a range of pre-loaded document types and a rules engine that automates the processing steps. The result is an opportunity for clients to make a step change in scalability, reducing manual process risk and cost.
In a statement, Citi said it recognises the complexities and challenges faced by businesses engaged in cross-border trade and is committed to delivering solutions to address them through innovative collaborations. Traydstream provides cloud-based automated document-checking solutions that help accelerate previously time-consuming trade procedures, such as letters of credit and collections.
In a world where international trade is crucial to global economies, timely and efficient documentation management is imperative. Working together, Citi and Traydstream will look to streamline the review and examination of documentation per documentary credit terms to mitigate risks and reduce operational load and cost.
Societe Generale issues digital green bond on a public blockchain
On 30 November 2023, Societe Generale issued its first digital green bond as a security token directly registered by SG-FORGE on the Ethereum public blockchain with increased transparency and traceability on ESG data. Security tokens have been fully subscribed by two institutional investors, AXA Investment Managers and Generali Investments, through a private placement.
This transaction is the first digital green bond issued by Societe Generale to leverage blockchain's differentiating functionalities. This digital format enables increased transparency and traceability and improved fluidity and speed in transactions and settlements.
This inaugural operation is structured as a €10m senior preferred unsecured bond with a maturity of three years. An amount equivalent to the net proceeds of this bond will be exclusively used to finance or refinance Eligible Green Activities, as defined in the Sustainable and Positive Impact Bond framework of Societe Generale.
The bank says this is also a first step towards using blockchain as a data repository and certification tool for issuers and investors to foster transparency on ESG and impact data on a global scale.
This digital green bond issue includes two innovations which will be developed further. The first is information on the carbon footprint linked to the digital bond infrastructure is available 24/7 in open access directly in the bond's smart contract. This enables issuers and investors to measure the carbon emissions of their securities on the financial infrastructure.
It also includes a new option opened to investors to settle securities on-chain through the EUR CoinVertible, the digital asset issued by SG-FORGE in April 2023, complementing traditional cash settlement solutions.
Necto unveils multi-bank API platform
Necto is launching its multi-bank Premium API aggregator for treasury, finance and payment platforms. Banks developed basic APIs for retail accounts. However, complex corporate banking relationships can only be served by feature-rich premium APIs. Necto says its API aggregator homogenises the various corporate bank API standards into a single format.
The average multinational corporation maintains more than 20 banking relationships, which makes it difficult for corporate treasurers to gather real-time information on balances, transaction visibility, and payments. Necto enables an integrated system to synchronously look across all accounts at different banks, transforming how cash management decisions are made and hopefully leading to more efficient and safer treasury operations.
The company also announced a US$8m seed round with participation from global enterprise fintech investors, including Nyca Partners, Point72 Ventures, Vine Ventures, Avenir Growth, Communitas Capital, Edison Partners and AFG Partners. Necto says it will use this investment to continue building out its roster of integrated Premium Bank APIs.
IOSCO publishes final report on supervisory practices to address greenwashing
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a report called Supervisory Practices to Address Greenwashing. The report provides an overview of initiatives undertaken in various jurisdictions to address greenwashing, in line with IOSCO recommendations published in November 2021 and the subsequent Call for Action in November 2022.
The report presents the challenges hindering the implementation of these recommendations, including data gaps, transparency, quality, and reliability of ESG ratings, consistency in labelling and classification of sustainability-related products, evolving regulatory approaches, and capacity-building needs. While some of these challenges are being addressed, greenwashing remains a fundamental market conduct concern that poses risks to investor protection and market integrity.
It also notes that most jurisdictions have in place supervisory mechanisms to address greenwashing in the area of asset management. Educational and capacity-building activities are also used as proactive tools to prevent greenwashing. Furthermore, the report refers to some enforcement measures taken on a few greenwashing cases. It also notes that while the ESG ratings and data products market remains largely unregulated, some jurisdictions are currently developing policy frameworks for ESG ratings and data product providers. Finally, the report refers to the cross-border nature of sustainability-related investments, which requires adequate cooperation. Such cross-border cooperation, including sharing experiences and knowledge and exchanging relevant information and data, is therefore necessary in ensuring market integrity and investor protection.
“In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the economic and financial materiality of climate change and ESG considerations,” said Jean Paul Servais, IOSCO Board Chair. “But there is also a growing concern against misleading claims about ESG risks, opportunities, and impacts. Internationally, industry participants, investors, regulators, and policy makers have stepped up their efforts to address such risks of greenwashing. It is key to promote cultures that support good practices aimed at protecting investors and fostering market integrity. The report supports regulators address greenwashing by outlining current regulatory best practices from around the world.”
APP scam losses expected to hit US$6.8bn by 2027
Authorised push payment (APP) scam losses are on the rise and expected to climb to US$6.8 billion — a combined compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% — by 2027 across six leading real-time payment markets (US, UK, India, Brazil, Australia and Saudi Arabia). This is according to Scamscope, a report by ACI Worldwide and GlobalData. During the same period, the overall value of real-time transactions is also forecasted to grow faster, reaching 25% CAGR.
APP fraud scams involve fraudsters tricking their victims into willingly making large bank transfers to them – in many cases, this happens via social engineering across social media networks or via telephone. “As real-time payments surge forward, the slower yet disconcerting rise of APP scams puts regulators under pressure to define accountability and assign liability,” commented Cleber Martins, head of payments intelligence and risk solutions at ACI Worldwide. “A cross-industry payments intelligence model for sharing anonymised fraud intelligence signals can strengthen the insights for automated AI systems and facilitate collaboration in real time to profile transaction risk without compromising IP, data privacy or compliance obligations.”
Among the markets covered in the report, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are the top two markets with the highest CAGR in scam loss value and among the top three with the highest CAGR in real-time payments value. This implies a concerning correlation between the increase in scams and the expanding volume of real-time payments and underscores the importance of addressing scams within the rapidly growing landscape.
In Brazil, scammers are exploiting PIX’s success, benefiting from a lag in developing processes and tools to detect fraudulent transactions. This hinders the identification of mule accounts used to transfer stolen funds. In Saudi Arabia, a nascent real-time payments market, scams seen in more established real-time payment markets are also emerging. With centralised regulatory control, banks can be encouraged to improve data quality and collaboration to combat mule networks.
Halfords selects Kriya for B2B digital payments and trade credit
Halfords Group, a UK provider of motoring and cycling products and services, has selected Kriya, an embedded finance provider, to support payments and credit for its trade account customers. Under the partnership, Kriya will embed its financial tools across Halfords stores, customer teams, and online.
Mechanics and tradespeople are typically paid after their end jobs are complete, putting a strain on working capital if parts need to be sourced in advance. By working with Kriya’s PayLater solution, Halfords is helping their Trade Card holders - which provides its members exclusive deals on tools and spare parts - and business customers better manage their cash flow with the ability to purchase on flexible payment terms. Trade Card members will now benefit from using embedded trade credit provided by Kriya wherever they prefer to order, whether online, click-and-collect or in-store.
Through the partnership, much of Halfords's existing trade credit processes will be automated. By using Kriya, Halfords can now service new types of business customers and manage much larger volumes of credit purchases.
Taulia adds Bank Of China and BNP Paribas to funder network
Taulia has added the Bank of China London Branch and BNP Paribas to its global multi-funder network. The firm’s growing network of funders enables businesses to access a broad and diverse funding pool with choice, liquidity, and availability of capital.
Multifunder models within supply chain finance programs are designed to provide resilience through diversification and a wider pool of funding for different currencies, geographies, client sizes, and credit profiles. Combined with the right technology, it also enables businesses to hedge against liquidity risk, particularly during economic uncertainty.
“Through its fully integrated solution with SAP, Taulia brings a strong added value to corporates supporting them to optimise their working capital and securitising their supply chain network,” said Bruno Lechevalier, Head of EMEA Working Capital, BNP Paribas.
Treasury Prime and Effectiv to bring fraud detection to enterprises and banks
Treasury Prime has announced a strategic partnership with Effectiv that will let companies and financial institutions within Treasury Prime’s multi-bank network use Effectiv’s Transaction Monitoring solution. This should enable customers to reduce fraudulent transactions and enhance risk management significantly.
Effectiv’s transaction monitoring solution identifies and mitigates at-risk transactions by leveraging AI to analyse patterns to detect anomalous fraudulent behaviours, reducing risk of financial loss and reputational damage.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen a rise in fraud with real-time payments,” said Ravi Sandepudi, CEO and co-founder of Effectiv. “As banks get ready to adopt FedNow and AI fraudsters increasingly get more sophisticated, it’s critical that fintechs and banks invest in technology that can improve their security posture.”
Nuvei enters global payments partnership with Microsoft
Nuvei Corporation, a Canadian fintech, has announced that it has partnered with Microsoft to deliver payments for customers of its products, solutions, and services. Microsoft will start using Nuvei’s payments technology in the Middle East and Africa, and tap Nuvei’s knowledge of local markets to optimise its payments for recurring billing and individual transactions across both its Office and Xbox product ranges.
The partnership aims to deliver Microsoft with optimised authorisation rates through local acquisition and risk management that minimises false declines and Nuvei’s ability to offer each market the relevant local alternative payment methods (APMs) through a single integration.
In a statement, the pair say they are committed to extending this partnership across additional markets and exploring new use cases to enhance the overall Microsoft experience. This includes Microsoft Dynamics 365, its business applications technology suite that drives operational efficiency and improved enterprise resource management.
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