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Citi launches real-time funding for corporates - Industry roundup: 12 June

Citi launches real-time funding for corporates

Citi has announced the launch of Real-Time Funding (RTF), an addition to its real-time treasury suite of solutions for corporate clients. The solution is now available in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK, and the bank plans to expand to additional markets later this year.

Citi RTF enables the automated movement of funds between cross-border accounts based on pre-defined rules set by the client. This aims to help them ensure that cash is available when and where needed. 

A press release from Citi outlined features of the solution, including automated and instant funding between intercompany accounts on a 24/7 basis, including intraday, after-hours, weekends and holidays. Timely and automated release of payments, domestically and across borders, and a consolidated view of intercompany loans and cash positions in one report are also included. The bank says the solution also reduces the need for account buffers, prefunding and borrowing.

Citi RTF is designed to help corporate treasurers optimise liquidity and make funding decisions with real-time data while also automating traditionally manual processes for 24/7 account monitoring and complex cash forecasting to support their operations. The bank suggests that the solution may be especially beneficial for companies with a lean treasury team or a centralised liquidity structure, helping them to maximise treasury efficiency and performance.

“With the proliferation of instant payments and evolving business models, treasuries must be able to support rapidly growing, 24/7 cash flows,” noted Stephen Randall, Global Head of Liquidity Management Services, Citi Services.


Pakistan’s central bank instructs banks to adopt digital SCF solutions

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has instructed banks in the country to develop and implement digital solutions for supply chain finance within six months. It wants banks to leverage technology to increase access to finance for SMEs and also digitise retail payments.

A circular issued by SBP requires banks to establish an effective supply chain finance (SCF) function with suitably trained HR and systems to develop and offer digital SCF products to SMEs. The banks have been further advised to develop their own digital solutions for SCF or partner with any fintech or service providers in the digital SCF space.

SBP noted that digital SCF solutions will increase SME access to finance, improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and strengthen risk management practices.


Mastercard commits to reaching 100% e-commerce tokenisation by 2030 in Europe

Mastercard has announced its vision for 100% e-commerce tokenisation in Europe by the end of the decade. This supports a global commitment to phase out manual card entry and make e-commerce safer and more accessible for everyone. As payments become more intricate, Mastercard is leveraging tokenisation, streamlined guest checkout and payment passkeys to create a consistent experience across devices, browsers, and operating systems.  

The firm says that contactless payments have made in-person payments seamless and ubiquitous – there’s an opportunity to bring that same experience to online checkout. Despite rigorous security solutions put in place by the payments industry, online commerce continues to face vulnerabilities due to bad actors. According to Juniper Research, losses from online payment fraud are forecasted to exceed US$91bn by 2028.  

Mastercard’s plan will see tokenisation replace the 16–19-digit number on the payment card with a secure token, which should reduce fraud and improve approval rates. To eliminate manual card entry, the company says it is making it easier to embed Click to Pay into merchant sites and enabling bank partners to help people enrol their cards. Payment passkeys will leverage online mobile device-based biometric authentication to eliminate passwords and one-time codes. 

Merging tokenisation with Click to Pay and payment passkeys should benefit the entire ecosystem. Consumers may experience faster and safer checkouts. Merchants might see increased sales, fraud protection, and higher approval rates. Issuers can also gain top-of-wallet status and customer security.  


Tradeweb and FTSE Russell extend benchmark closing prices to US treasury markets

Tradeweb and FTSE Russell have launched Tradeweb FTSE U.S. Treasury Closing Prices, extending their combined offering of next-generation fixed income pricing, which can be used in index trading products.

Similar to the existing Tradeweb FTSE closing prices for UK gilts and European government bonds, these US Treasury closing prices incorporate trading activity from Tradeweb’s electronic platform, which the pair claim results in more robust benchmark pricing.

The closing prices use a methodology that facilitates the calculation of bid and offer prices, capturing transaction costs based on executable pricing quotes collected through the Tradeweb platform. This is in addition to midprices, which are produced for all asset classes. The pricing data set features coverage for various security types, including US Treasury notes and bonds, bills, strips and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), with both a 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. (New York) snap time.

The extension of closing pricing to the U.S. Treasury markets marks a step in further expanding benchmark pricing capabilities across a range of fixed income securities, including USD-denominated credit securities, for which prices are primarily underpinned by U.S. Treasury valuations.

The methodology has been thoroughly tested to arrive at an optimal approach to delivering robust, algorithmic and reliable pricing, a statement from Tradeweb and FTSE Russell noted. In the near term, Tradeweb plans to incorporate this methodology into its UK gilt and Euro government closing prices, including adding bid and offer prices.


KPMG Australia launches Gen AI tool for tax advice

KPMG Australia has launched KymTax, a custom-built generative AI tool designed to put the breadth and depth of the firm’s proprietary tax knowledge at the fingertips of its tax specialists. KymTax is a personal tax researcher, helping tax professionals comb through tax legislation, guidance and training materials and precedent documents. It will be used to craft first drafts of tax advice, based on facts presented by tax specialists, that can then be adjusted and adapted for client purposes.

Launching across the firm’s tax teams, KymTax is a combination of a research tool, knowledge management platform and content generator. It will also create tax-related content to be shared in presentations and emails and provide answers to specific questions on recent tax issues.  

The idea for KymTax was conceived during an internal “ChatGPT Illuminate” challenge to uncover the most appropriate generative AI use cases within the firm. It was developed internally by KPMG’s Connected Technology Group, who worked with the firm’s Tax & Legal and Enterprise divisions. During development, KymTax passed through a Trusted AI review as well as a governance approval process, which included review by an advisory board with an independent external board member. 

“We’re taking our existing knowledge base and ingesting it into the solution – it’s not coming from ChatGPT – the reference material and the context behind how it generates its advice comes from our internal KPMG know-how,” said KPMG Australia National Managing Partner for Tax & Legal, Ben Travers. “It’s our people who have made the decisions and created the framework and the AI works to find the data, read and summarise documents. KymTax is like giving every tax professional in our firm their very own research assistant.” 


R2.5bn funding platform unleashes 850MW of clean energy

An R2.5bn funding solution should allow one of South Africa’s largest 100% black-owned independent power producers (IPPs) to deliver 1,1 GW of clean energy. With the support of a facility originated and structured by Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Pele Green Energy (PGE) also aims to increase its pipeline of renewable energy projects from 1 GW to 5 GW by 2027.

Nedbank CIB contributed R1bn to the consolidated funding platform for PGE, which replaces the company’s previous capital-raising frameworks that operated on a project-by-project basis. The remaining commitments came from the Industrial Development Corporation (R829m) and Norfund (R658m), which are development finance institutions of the governments of South Africa and Norway, respectively. Nedbank CIB was the mandated lead arranger, underwriter and bookrunner for the transaction.

The platform facility provides PGE with a capital base that will allow it to play a meaningful role in delivering the Just Energy Transition (JET) as well as benefits from the cross-collaterisation of different technologies, including those for wind, solar generation, and battery storage. About 80% of the projects PGE plans to develop are for the private sector, with the rest being developed through bids into government auctions to supply South Africa’s national grid.


XTransfer and Banking Circle to boost cross-border payments for Chinese suppliers

XTransfer and Banking Circle have entered into a strategic partnership to reduce the cost and processing time of cross-border payments for XTransfer’s clients. This should particularly benefit Chinese suppliers with significant markets in Europe and the Middle East.

Both XTransfer and Banking Circle say they are committed to minimising the cost associated with global trade payments. Through integrating Banking Circle's infrastructure, XTransfer can now offer its clients a broader array of local payment and fund collection options. Clients will be able to receive payments not only in major currencies like the US dollar, euro, GBP, and Danish krone, but also in six additional currencies in Europe and the Middle East. This partnership is expected to expand further, with plans to introduce even more currency options shortly.

This development is particularly advantageous for businesses dealing with Chinese suppliers. Buyers in Europe and the Middle East can pay Chinese suppliers in a wider range of local currencies.


EY and Docusign to offer intelligent agreement management

Docusign and Ernst & Young have partnered to provide technology solutions that help businesses transform agreement data into actionable insights, accelerating contract review cycles and boosting productivity organisation-wide.

With virtual and hybrid business operations increasing in pace, technology solutions are needed to help drive automation and ease of communication. The EY–Docusign Alliance leverages Docusign CLM (Contract Lifecycle Management) and EY US contract intelligence services to offer intelligent agreement management solutions to help organisations connect and automate how agreements are created, committed to and managed.

The alliance also helps develop the necessary technology to support EY Law managed services offerings. In addition, Docusign helps scale the EY US contract intelligence offerings, bringing greater insights to clients by unlocking critical data from their agreements through AI capabilities and enterprise technology platform connectors.


Seismic nets US$500m credit facility

PNC Bank has announced the closing of a more than US$500m senior secured credit facility for Seismic, a global sales enablement software firm. PNC served as administrative agent and collateral agent for the credit facility and PNC Capital Markets served as lead left arranger.

The expanded credit facility's funds will be used for strategic growth initiatives and working capital needs. In addition to closing the credit facility, PNC also provides Seismic with a suite of other bank products and services, including its treasury management platform and capital markets solutions.

“With this extended facility, we’re better enabled to accelerate our strategic initiatives, expand our market presence, and continue delivering world-class enablement solutions to our customers around the globe,” said Doug Winter, cofounder and CEO of Seismic.


MSCI launches genAI-powered risk analytics tool and modelling technology

MSCI has launched AI Portfolio Insights. Combining generative artificial intelligence (genAI) with MSCI’s analytics tools and advanced modelling technologies, the solution is designed to help investors better identify and manage potential emerging risks that dynamic markets pose to their portfolios.

MSCI AI Portfolio Insights aims to create efficiencies and deliver insights to institutional risk and portfolio managers by helping identify and analyse the most salient information in risk reports before the working day starts.

Investors can use the solution’s interactive capabilities to drill further into changes in their portfolios without any need for code or extensive user interface dropdowns. MSCI AI Portfolio Insights merges generated text with modern dashboards and cloud-based technology to enhance communication and efficiency in risk and portfolio management. These tools aim to empower risk management teams at asset managers, hedge funds and asset owners to drive collaboration across their firm's investment teams.

The company has also introduced the Macro Finance Analyzer, which uses MSCI’s financial modelling and stress-testing capabilities. This tool is designed to test how changes to macroeconomic conditions could affect a portfolio’s risks and returns across asset classes, supporting investors’ asset allocation decisions. Users can explore and test various situations, with the ability to adjust expectations for rapidly evolving market events and trends – like potential impacts of interest rate changes or changes in long-term economic growth.

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